Deciphering DC: Georgetown Canal Plan (Public Comment Period until 5/11)

Georgetown Canal Plan
Georgetown Canal Plan (Image from April 4th Public Meeting Presentation)

If you’re following the progress of the Georgetown Canal Plan, the National Park Service (NPS) held the third public meeting on April 4th to present the concept alternatives they’ve developed.

For those of you not keeping track, there are plans afoot to vastly improve the first mile of the C&O Canal and Towpath that run through Georgetown.

The project is in the ‘Develop Alternatives’ stage, and the NPS presented two concept options (Plan A and Plan B) for multiple distinct areas, including the Zero Mile Marker, the Rock Creek Confluence and the Aqueduct.

It all looks pretty amazing, have a look at the concepts and plan for yourself (and see the meeting presentation).

What can I do now?

Review the plan and give your comments by May 11. You can let them know what is most exciting or what are the missed opportunities.

Find the link to submit electronically here.

Or send written comments to:
C&O Canal National Historical Park Headquarters
1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100
Hagerstown, MD 21740


Project Purpose
The plan will focus on addressing deferred maintenance issues and related safety and accessibility concerns associated with the towpath; improving connections between Georgetown and the C&O Canal towpath; enhancing visitor experience through increased signage and optimizing underutilized areas.

Project Vision
As partners, enhance the Georgetown section of C&O Canal National Historical Park as a dynamic, urban national park that provides each person with a memorable and enriching experience.

Project Goals
1. Respect, celebrate, and interpret the Canal’s historic character, authenticity, and sense of place.
2. Rehabilitate and reveal the Canal’s historic structures and cultural landscapes for the enjoyment and interpretation of current and future generations.
3. Improve safety throughout the Georgetown section of the C&O Canal.
4. Increase accessibility and public access to and throughout the Georgetown section of the C&O Canal.
5. Build and sustain the capacity of the Canal to serve as a living classroom and ensure equitable access to education and interpretation.
6. Incorporate an array of programming for discovery, recreation, and reflection to be enjoyed by broad and diverse audiences.
7. Balance resource stewardship with creating unique experiences.
8. Establish meaningful connections to, and enhance the integration with the surrounding community, including the entirety of C&O Canal National Historical Park, Rock Creek Park, and other nearby public spaces, trail systems, and pedestrian and street networks.
9. Provide essential amenities such as signage, gathering spaces, restrooms, trash and recycling bins, and drinking fountains.
10. Leverage opportunities to incorporate sustainability, climate adaptation, and resilience.
11. Ensure that the project is financially sustainable and managed cooperatively, efficiently, and responsibly; underpinning long-term viability and relevance.

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: