Thursday
Aug262010

2010 Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

To all C&O Canal Volunteers:

Allow us to say thank you for your dedication to the C&O Canal by attending one of our volunteer recognition dinners.

Wednesday, September 15 at Carderock Pavillion

Thursday, September 16 at Ferry Hill

View the invitation and directions here and please RSVP by 9/10/10 to Danny Filer .



Thursday
Mar252010

2010 Spring Volunteer Seminars at Great Falls!

Attention all C&O Canal Volunteers: Come join us at Great Falls Tavern for a series of seminars, briefings and informal hikes!!! 

Whether you are interested in learning new skills or information, getting involved in another volunteer group, or just socializing with our other outstanding volunteers, save these dates!!!

 

Date

 

Training Topic

(10am-12pm @ GF Tavern)

Optional Activity Afterwards

(Starts @ 12:30pm)

 

Leader

Mar 28

(Sun)

Leave No Trace

Cookout @ Barn

VIP

Tom Sweeting

 

Apr 3 (Sat)

 

Meet the Mules

Mule Barn Volunteer Project

Ranger

Mark Myers

 

Apr 10

(Sat)

 

Civilian Conservation Corps

Walk out to Falls Overlook

Rangers

Vanessa Smiley & Mark Edwards

Apr 18 (Sun)

 

Washington Aqueduct

 Walk towpath to Widewater

Ranger

John McCarthy

May 9 (Sun)

 

Gorge Geology

Billy Goat A Trail

VIP

Lisa Walsh

May 23

(Sun)

 

Interpretation 102

Presenting Walks and Talks

Walk out to Falls Overlook

Ranger

Aly Baltrus

*Ideas for future classes? Have a skill you’d like to share? See Aly or email her @ alyssa_baltrus@nps.gov.

BUSY SPRING- Other things going on in the district- for more info, contact Aly unless otherwise noted

3/27- Painting the Georgetown Boat (contact Jim Heins)

 

3/28- Rovers Meeting @ Great Falls (contact Tom Sweeting)

4/17- Canal Pride Cleanup Kickoff at Great Falls

4/21- Bike Maintenance Class (contact Norm Liebow)

4/24- Casting Call Fishing Rodeo at Fletchers Cove

4/24- Civil War Weekend at Great Falls

4/25- Lockhouse 6 Open House

5/16- Billy Goat Trail Steward Training (contact Mark Hingston)

5/22- Weed Warrior Training

Monday
Feb222010

New Firearms Law

BREIFING STATEMENT FOR PARK EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS IN PARKS

Firearms Law

A new federal law has changed policies related to firearm possession in the national parks.  This law, The Credit Card Accountability and Disclosure Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-24), was enacted May 22, 2009 and became effective Feb. 22, 2010.  Section 512, Protecting Americans from Violent Crimes, states that the NPS ”shall not promulgate or enforce and regulation” prohibiting possession of firearms in parks.

Partial Text of Section 512 (b) P.L. 111-24.  Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009

(b) Protecting the Right of Individuals To Bear arms in Units of the National Park System and the National Wildlife Refuge System- The Secretary of the Interior shall not promulgate or enforce any

firearm in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if—

(1) the individual is not otherwise prohibited by law from possessing the firearm; and

(2) the possession of the firearm is in compliance with the law of the State in which the unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System is located.

 As this law indicates, the law enforcement rangers of the C&O Canal NHP and the US Park Police will be enforcing the firearms laws of the State of Maryland, State of West Virginia and Washington D.C. within the park area.  A link to these laws is on the park’s website www.nps.gov/CHOH .  This new federal law does not affect existing laws and regulations prohibiting the use of firearms in the park and hunting is still prohibited.  All employees, volunteers and partners working in the park should have some familiarity with each jurisdiction’s laws.  Please see attached appendix for MD, WV and DC

 

Firearms are prohibited in Federal Facilities

Under Title 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44 section 930, firearms are prohibited in federal facilities.  The park facilities that meet the provisions under this law will be posted with a “Firearms Prohibited” sign.  This normally relates to park visitor centers and offices.

 Park employees are prohibited from possessing firearms while on duty

Under 43 C.F.R. 20.511, Departmental employees (including Volunteers in Parks) in the course of their official duties are prohibited from possessing firearms on property under the control of the Department.

Talking Points for Visitor Questions

  • ·         Provide the basic law information as mentioned in this briefing statement and stress that it is the responsibility of the citizen to know the state regulations in reference to firearms.
  • ·         Provide a copy of the rack card about this law if you have it available.
  • ·         Do not provide any personal opinion to the visitors about this new law. 
  • ·         The National Parks Service is implementing and following the intent of this law just as we do for any new law affecting the administration of park areas.

Observing a visitor with a firearm

  • ·         Do not confront or question a visitor who has a firearm.  Assume that the visitor has the legal right to possess the firearm.
  • ·         Notify the parks communication Center (1-866-677-6677) of your observation.
    • o   Be observant to any suspicious activities of the visitor.
    • o   Provide information on the clothing, actions, and general description of the visitor.

Questions

Please contact Chief Ranger, Brad Clawson, (301-714-2222) if you would like more information on this topic or if you have questions.

1. Link to Video- http://www.chohpublic.net/vip/Shared%20Documents/Firearms.wmv

2. Link to Frequently Asked Questions Document- http://www.chohpublic.net/vip/Shared%20Documents/Frequently%20Asked%20Questions%20-%20Firearms.pdf

Tuesday
Feb162010

Volunteer Program National Ranking

The C&O Canal NHP Volunteers-in-Parks Program has continued to expand and grow over recent years.  In fiscal year 2009, the C&O Canal National Historical Park engaged 3,961 volunteers for a total of 75,763 hours. 

The number of volunteers we utilized ranked 8th most among the 428 National Park Service sites that reported using volunteers last year. 

 Furthermore, the amount of volunteer hours contributed to the park ranked 13th, which is a five-spot increase from our placing of 18th in fiscal year 2008.  The park was once again the largest in the National Capital Region in both number of volunteers and hours contributed to the program.

 

Thank you to all of our volunteers who contributed to acheiving this excellent accomplishment!

Wednesday
Feb032010

Canal Pride Days 2010 - Register Now!

Registration is now open for C&O Canal Pride Days 2010!  Register as group, family, or as an individual using our online application, which can be found on the Canal Pride Days page of the C&O Canal Trust website:
 
 Saturday, April 17 - Great Falls
Painting the shutters and front door of the Historic Tavern, removing vegetation around the mule barn, pulling garlic mustard, raking and mulching, painting the mule pen, sprucing up the Tavern.
 
 Sunday, April 18 - Pennyfield
Replacing fence boards and painting the fence, splitting wood, removing trash and debris, spreading mulch, painting a picnic table and signs.
 
 Saturday, May 1 - Williamsport
Pulling garlic mustard, painting the floor and walls of the Visitor Center, potholing the parking lot, planting trees along the towpath.
 
 Saturday, May 8 - Paw Paw
Installing campground signs, installing new picnic tables and grilles, painting bulletin board, potholing the entrance road, removing garlic mustard and other vegetation.
 
For more information or to get involved, contact the Trust at 301-714-2233.
Friday
Jan292010

Paint A Canal Boat

On March 27, 2010 from 9am to Noon, volunteers from the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Association and the Ritz Carlton will be painting The Georgetown and removing trash and debris from the canal prism in Georgetown.

To join us in another fun project, contact Volunteer Coordinators Danny Filer at 301-714-2218 or Jennifer Bruza at 301-739-6914.

Friday
Jan222010

2010 Volunteer Seminars!

Attention all C&O Canal Volunteers: Come join us at Great Falls Tavern for a series of seminars, briefings, and informal hikes!! All training seminars take place from 10am-12pm at Great Falls Tavern with the Optional Activity afterwards.

Mar 7 (Sun)

Powerpoint - C&O Canal:The Park that Almost Wasn’t” 

Hike Gold Mine Loop

 

Mar 14 (Sun)

 

**Habitats

Billy Goat Trail A

 

Mar 20 (Sat)

 

Flooding Procedures

Operations Briefing

 

Mar 28 (Sun)

Meet our Mules

Help Repair Fencing in Mule Area

 All volunteers are welcome for each session. Some of the sessions are also requirements for specific VIP groups… see below…

*New Billy Goat Trail Stewards and Volunteer Rovers will need some interpretive training class before they are allowed to volunteer SOLO. There will be more sessions of each later in the season.

** New Billy Goat Trail Stewards also need to take a session on Habitats. More sessions will be available later in the season.

 

This calendar will be updated monthly and will extend out 2-3 months. We will keep it posted in the volunteer trailer and at the Great Falls VC. Ideas on classes? Have a skill you’d like to share? See Aly or email her @ alyssa_baltrus@nps.gov

Wednesday
Dec232009

To All Our Amazing Volunteers...

We would like to thank all our volunteers for all of the wonderful service you have provided to the park this year. On Behalf of all of us, we would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday!

Thursday
Dec102009

C&O Canal Pride Days 2010 - Save the Date!!

Join the C&O Canal NHP and its partner, the C&O Canal Trust, this spring for C&O Canal Pride Days 2010. Last year, over 700 volunteers tackled over 70 projects to help the park, everything from painting signs and picnic tables to pulling weeds and repairing trails. Canal Pride Days has projects for every age and skill level- everyone is welcomed to help. Please save the following dates for our the 2010 C&O Canal Pride Days in the Spring:

April 17th - Kickoff at Great Falls, Potomac, MD

April 18th - Montgomery County, Maryland,  Pennyfield area

April 24th - Frederick, MD area, Chick Farm

May 1st - Big Slackwater or Williamsport, MD

May 8th - Paw Paw Tunnel, MD

May 15th - Rain date

We will keep you informed of dates, times, and projects! To learn more about C&O Canal Pride Days 2010, contact Jenna Warrenfeltz at warrenfeltz@canaltrust.org.

Tuesday
Dec012009

Adopt A Piece of History

Stewards Work to Maintain The CanalMany miles of the C&O Canal’s towpath are saying “Adopt Me!” after the kick-off last spring of the Canal Steward Site Adoption Program.  The Canal Steward Program is the newest addition to the VIP Program at the park.  Many park neighbors, history buffs, nature lovers, local service organizations and school groups have all joined the ranks by adopting various locations throughout the park.  As Canal Steward, volunteers join the ranks of the Maintenance Division and commit to taking on the routine tasks that need to be completed to keep the area looking great and preserve the historical significance of the site.  A mile stretch of towpath is a great adoption site and each mile that is adopted by a dedicated Steward will be well cared for and provide a better park experience to all who visit the area.

A special thank-you to all the current Canal Stewards who have painted, pruned, paved and performed many other services to maintain and improve the park.  We are looking forward to working with you for many years to come.

If you or your group would like to adopt a piece of history the C&O Canal National Historical Park welcomes your support!  For more information about the program and available adoption sites, email the Canal Steward Program Coordinator, Rebecca Jameson at rebecca_jameson@nps.gov or by phone at at 301-745-5810.

Monday
Nov302009

Paw Paw Tunnel Campground Project

This weekend, scouts from Troop 113 out of Alexandria, Virginia volunteered to replace guardrails and paint new cement posts at the Paw Paw Tunnel Campground.

To see pictures of the project in progress, click on:

 http://www.shutterfly.com/lightbox/view.sfly?fid=3a4a683a1e9ebdf12a944dfefaeb216b

Thank you for all your hard work!

Monday
Nov162009

Stained and Delivered

Volunteers Staining the New Mule Run-in ShedOn November 15th, 2009 volunteers from the C & O Canal Association VIP Team, led by Ranger Mark Myers and  coordinator Jim Heins, stained the long-awaited mule run-in-shed. The volunteer group had beautiful weather for working on this project! Staining the shed will help protect the natural wood from deteriorating and keep it looking fresh! Thank you to all who came out and participated.

Thursday
Nov122009

Recent Events and Kudos

Hello All!

On November 6th, our new run-in shed for the mules was finally delivered to the top pasture behind E house at Great Falls. Jim Heins of the C&O Canal Association, along with volunteers and park staff will be having a “staining party”Saturday November 14th (weather permitting) from 9-noon.

On that same afternoon, Avendra had a group of employees volunteer their afternoon working on various projects around the mule barn. Pictures have already been posted on Flickr! Volunteers worked hard installing water bars in the pasture, removing vegetation in a 6 foot perimeter around the fence, installing fence posts to replace a temporary fence line, and general clean up around the pasture. Thanks for all your hard work!

We would also like to thank Barbara Brown for her Life and Death pictures. Albums are available from 2009 and 2008 on our Facebook Group page (search for group CHOHVIP). Photos and memories can be viewed, downloaded, or printed for your enjoyment.

The Palisades Bike Patrol had one of it’s Cake meetings on November 10th at Rockwood Manor in Potomac, MD. Patrollers gathered for an evening of awards, laughs, lottery-style gifts, and socializing followed by, of course, cake! Awards and mule-shoes were presented for completing ride-alongs, first aid training, and outstanding patrollers. Statistics showed that patrol hours increased by 65% in the past year! And for those of you who know me to be a chocolate fiend,  I dutifully ate my carrots. Carrot cake is a vegetable, yes? It was fabulous!

Coming up on November 21st, a Boy Scout Troop out of Alexandria, VA will be refurbishing the parking lot railing at the Paw Paw campground. Thank you in advance for your hard work!

Finally, thank you to all of our Troops and Veterans who give so much in return for so little.

Thursday
Nov052009

Welcome to Our New Volunteer Community

Welcome to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park! We are excited to get our Volunteer-in-Parks (VIP) website up and running to list upcoming events, photos of projects, and volunteer opportunities so that the community and our fantastic volunteers can readily access current information. As a centralized site, www.CHOHVIP.org is a location for communicating with volunteers and local communities, allows one method for reporting volunteer hours, dowloading necessary volunteer agreements and forms, has links to partner sites, maps and directions, our new volunteer handbook!

Do you Tweet? Have a Facebook account? Be sure to add us! Check out our group page on Facebook under CHOHVIP where links to news, photos, and events are available. Recent photos of our annual Life & Death on the C&O Canal NHP from 2009 and 2008 have been posted. Get involved with other volunteers, network, and build relationships that can make a tangible difference.

Looking for a way to improve your local park? Check out our calendar for our upcoming events in which you can participate as an individual or with a group. As a park visitor, regular recreational enthusiast, or occasional outdoors man or woman, this website highlights our various volunteer groups and all the ways in which you can get involved with our national treasure.

Have you been biking, hiking, or boating and seen a potential project to beautify or improve the C&O Canal? Whether you are an army of one or have a group of family and friends who want to give back to the park you enjoy regularly, there are plenty of opportunities! Click on Flickr to see photos of past volunteer projects.

Volunteering is one way in which you can see immediate results and improvement. Your efforts directly impact the area you touch and make a sustainable and manageable difference. With enough volunteers, elbow-grease, and passion, our 184.5 mile park can be enhanced and enjoyed by both thousands of visitors and regular outdoor enthusiasts for it’s natural, historical, and recreational significance.

The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal also offers long-term Volunteer Opportunities such as Visitor Use Assistants, Office Internships, Campground Hosts, Bike Patrol, Level Walkers, and Billy Goat Trail Stewards. Can you make a long term commitment? Have you fallen in love with a certain part of our park? Consider being a Canal Steward and adopt the area that has become a part of you! Look at Volunteer.gov for current postings. Information regarding our Chesapeake and Ohio Canal can be found at www.nps.gov/CHOH and our official partner, The C&O Canal Trust, http://www.canaltrust.org/.

Finally, this website would not have become a reality without the key volunteers and park staff who tirelessly dedicated their time, talent, and persistence in researching, designing, and creating this innovative site. Thank you.

Wednesday
Oct282009

PATC Volunteer of the Month Catherine Kelleher

The Potomac Appalachian Trail Conservancy announced their October 2009 Volunteer of the Month!

Interest in cross-country skiing led Catherine Kelleher to the Appalachian Trail. Looking for a cross-country group to ski with, Catherine joined the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. While on a skiing trip, she met a trail maintainer, and her interest in the trail was piqued. Catherine volunteers two or three weekends a month on trail projects, and also edits the Trailhead column in PATC’s newsletter. Says PATC’s Rick Canter, “Catherine is equally comfortable helping build a bridge, moving or shaping a huge rock … or using a camera, keyboard or pen to get the job done.”

Catherine has a special talent for working with stone – she is one of the most dedicated volunteers on the Bear Mountain project in New York, even though it is 200 miles from her home. Eddie Walsh, Bear Mountain Trails Project Manager, notes that Catherine “is a meticulous builder” who “takes great care in her work.” Catherine works in IT, where it can take a long time to see tangible results. At the end of a day on the trail, however, she can see what she has accomplished. She also finds working with trail maintainers a very positive experience – no egos, just a group of people focused on getting work done.

Catherine is modest about her accomplishments, but she encourages others to participate. Trail work, she says, “is exercise for the mind as well as the body,” scheduling is flexible, and when you join a trail crew, “chances are, you’ll fit right in.”

For more information on PATC click here.

 

Friday
Sep252009

National Public Lands Day

Thousands of volunteers in every state will put their hands to work on Saturday, September 26, 2009 in a coast-to-coast effort to improve and enhance our treasured lands. From Plymouth Rock to the Golden Gate, the Tallgrass Prairie, the Rockies, the Rio Grande—volunteers will join this national day of caring for their lands. Volunteers will build bridges and trails, improve habitat for wildlife, plant trees, remove invasive plants that threaten fragile natives, protected natural, historic and cultural resources—and much more. Volunteers will work in parks and forests, at rivers, lakes, and wetlands, at cultural and historic sites and in their own neighborhoods.

Thursday
Sep102009

Head Over Heels...

Friday
Sep042009

Upcoming Events and News

Welcome back to our page! Our website team is still working diligently to get our pages up and running so we apologize for any glitches. Browsing through our calendar, you will note achange on the upcoming Tidelock project. The new date is October 31st, 9am-12, at MilePost 0.

Upcoming Events:

On Friday September 11th, 2009, a group of  volunteers from the Brickman organization will be sprucing up our Mule Barn area at Great Falls Tavern.  The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal maintains a stable of six to eight mules for its interpretive canal boat operations. The mules are a great favorite of park visitors. The National Park Service ensures the year-round good health and safety of the mules that pull The Georgetown and the Charles Fenton Mercer. The C&O Canal stable of mules, Dolly, Ida, Lil, Ada, Molly and Nell, have life much easier than the mules of yesteryear: our mules pull at most a twenty-eight ton boat, two hours per day, four days a week, whereas their predecessors would pull a 140-ton boat eight hours a day, seven days a week.

Thus our present day mules, fed and loved by staff and visitors alike, now help to ensure the success of the re-creation of the colorful canal era in the United States. Our goal is to lay down some crushed stone, prune vegetation away from the barn, mend and cut back vegetation from the fences, and paint two sides of the barn. Our mules appreciate the attention! Check out some photos at http://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/picturesofthemules.htm.

 Another upcoming event is our Annual Recognition Dinners on September 16th at Carderock Pavillon and September 17th at Ferry Hill Plantation. Invitations have been sent and responses are flooding in! We are near capacity at Carderock with close to 100 VIPs and staff planning to attend in addition to more than 50 at Ferry Hill. Awards for  top volunteers and staff throughout all districts of the park will be presented and all volunteers who have donated their time and support will be recognized. We are expecting fun evenings with great food and the best of company. Contact your group leader for more information…last person who RSVPs is assigned to clean-up duty so don’t wait!

Two more events are scheduled for September 19th at Fletcher’s Cove Boathouse where groups will be removing trash and debris, and September 26th, National Public Lands Day, Adopt-A-Crag at Carderock where volunteers will be improving trails and general cleaning. See our calendar for more information.

 On September 27th, PBS will be premiering America’s Best Idea, a series on the National Parks.  Filmmaker Ken Burns and his longtime colleague Dayton Duncan take us on a behind the scenes tour of their new PBS series, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA. The team explains why they chose The Parks as their subject, as well as describing their five-year journey through research, scripting, filming and editing the series. http://video.pbs.org/video/1132712651 Watch a clip now!

 Did you Know?

The Paw Paw Tunnel is 3,118 feet long and is lined with over six million bricks. The 3/4 mile long tunnel saved the canal builders almost six miles of construction along the Paw Paw bends of the Potomac River. It took twelve years to build and was only wide enough for single lane traffic.

Did You Know?
There are several gold mines in the Great Falls area. The largest of these is the Maryland Mine located at the intersection of Falls Road and MacArthur Boulevard near Potomac, Maryland. Gold was first discovered here by a Union soldier from Pennsylvania during the Civil War.

 Finally, please remember our park is a trash-free park. There are no trash receptacles provided. Please leave no trace and take your trash with you.

Thursday
Aug132009

Welcome to Our Community!

Welcome to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park! We are excited to get our Volunteer-in-Parks (VIP) website up and running to list upcoming events, photos of projects, and volunteer opportunities so that the community and our fantastic volunteers can readily access current information. It will also provide an easy method for reporting volunteer hours, obtaining necessary forms, links and partner sites, maps and directions, our new volunteer handbook! Network with us through Facebook and Twitter which will be debuting soon.

Looking for a way to improve your local park? Check out our calendar for our current scheduled events in which you can participate. Have you been biking, hiking, or boating and seen a potential project to beautify or improve the C&O Canal? Whether you are an army of one or have a group of family and friends who want to give back to the park you enjoy regularly, there are plenty of opportunities! In August, we will be pruning vegetation and re-striping the Capital Crescent Trail with student volunteers from Georgetown University. National Public Lands Day is fast approaching in October where we will be at Carderock improving the trails and retaining wall. This fall we will be starting to plan our annual Canal Pride Days for the spring of 2010. Know of an area that needs improvement, a project you would like to do, or have a group that can help us out? Contact us with your ideas using the links below.

Volunteering is one way in which you can see immediate results and improvement. Your efforts directly impact the area you touch and make a sustainable and manageable difference. With enough volunteers, elbow-grease, and passion, our 184.5 mile park can be enhanced and enjoyed by both thousands of visitors and regular outdoor enthusiasts for it’s natural, historical, and recreational significance.

Our Chesapeake and Ohio Canal also offers longer term Volunteer Opportunities such as Visitor Use Assistants, Office Internships, Campground Hosts, Bike Patrol, Level Walkers, and Billy Goat Trail Stewards. Can you make a long term commitment? Have you fallen in love with a certain part of our park? Consider being a Canal Steward and adopt the area that has become a part of you! Look at Volunteer.gov for current postings. Information regarding our Chesapeake and Ohio Canal can be found at www.nps.gov/CHOH and check out one of our partners, The C&O Canal Trust, at Canal Turst

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