Citizens Association of Georgetown: Feb. 7, 2018

The C&O Canal National Historical Park spans 184.5 miles from Georgetown to western Maryland. (photo by Prisca Lo Surdo)

The Citizens Association of Georgetown has participated in the Georgetown Heritage Master Plan to revitalize the historic Chesapeake & Ohio National Historic Park. The association believes a priority should be placed on restoration of the canal in order to return the asset to its proper functionality.

There are several specific priorities and concerns that we would like to emphasize for the canal, including repair of the canal’s infrastructure with strong consideration given to sustainability. A logistical and financial maintenance plan for the canal will preserve the long-term use of the canal.

The association does not want to significantly degrade the historic fabric of the canal. We strongly prefer a gravel surface for the towpath over hardscape, to better reflect how the path appeared during the canal’s period of historic significance. We do support the plans for the creation of activity centers, such as the Fish Market Square. We also support the plans to address the dangerous situation at the old aqueduct abutment.

We hope that security improvements won’t reduce or eliminate the public’s access to the unique vantage point the abutment offers. Last but not least, we would like to see the canal refilled with water and the mule boats returned as soon as possible.

— Bob vom Eigen