Volunteers come out for C&O Canal Pride Days Clean-Up

The C&O Canal Pride Days event in Great Falls brought out 130 volunteers, all eager to help revitalize the area just in time for the warmer months ahead.

Now in it’s 12th year, Saturday’s event was the largest volunteer effort put on by the C&O Canal Trust.

Volunteers spent the morning working on projects ranging from beautifying the picnic area to painting and picking up trash.

Among them was Hannah Debelius. She grew up visiting the canal with family and has been volunteering for Pride Day since 2014.

“It’s such a wonderful resource for this community and this area and the trust does such a great job being a partner and a steward,” said Debelius.

Eddie Rives also volunteered Saturday and has been visiting the canal since he was in high school.

“I’m no longer working for a living so I have a lot of time on my hands, I’m going to be painting,” Rives said.

It’s an event Heidi Schalg, director of marketing and communications with the C&O Canal Trust, says is a major help for the park staff. This year, the trust also met its goal of 130 volunteers six weeks before the event, a reminder of how much the community cares about preserving the park’s history.

“We can’t do it without the support of the community. These are the types of events that allow folks to come out and show their love for the park,” Schlag said.

Volunteers clean up the area surrounding the C&O canal during Canal Days on May 4, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Volunteers repair a fence at the C&O Canal on May 4, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Some supplies used by volunteers during their clean up efforts at the C&O Canal on May 4, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A volunteer spruces up some of the area surrounding the C&O Canal on May 4, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
A young volunteer helps with the yard work at the C&O Canal on May 4, 2019. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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