Georgetown Canal Plan Shared with Community

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Georgetown Heritage and the National Park Service (NPS) shared updated draft concepts for the Georgetown Canal Plan at a public workshop on April  4, 2019.

(Photo by: Lauren Boston)

From inviting landscapes to creative spaces for educational programs and events, the draft concepts show a rejuvenated and reimagined first mile of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal) through Georgetown. 

(Photo by: Lauren Boston)

The public is invited to review the concepts online and provide feedback through May 11, 2019. 


Following a presentation, meeting participants viewed the draft concept posters up-close, asked questions and shared their vision for the C&O Canal. 

(Photo by: Lauren Boston)

Highlights of the updated concepts include: Repair and rehabilitation of the canal’s historic structures and cultural landscape in Georgetown. Improved educational spaces, canal and lock models, a mule yard and a new visitor center. New spaces to relax, get active and socialize along the canal. Easier access for people with mobility challenges. Participants were asked to consider the following questions as they viewed the draft concepts: Does this achieve the vision and goals? What are you most excited about? Did we miss an opportunity?


Since the last public comment period, the NPS and Georgetown Heritage developed an interpretation and education plan for the Georgetown section of the C&O Canal, which, in addition to prior public comments, has greatly informed the revised concepts. 

(Photo by: Lauren Boston)

The NPS also completed the reconstruction and repair of Locks 3 and 4. Just last week, the canal was re- watered to test the new lock gates in preparation for the eventual return of a reproduction canal boat. These concepts and the feedback received from the community will shape the plan/Environmental Assessment (plan/EA) to reimagine, restore and revitalize a mile-long section of the C&O Canal. 


The NPS and Georgetown Heritage are undertaking this project with support from the D.C. Office of Planning and the Georgetown BID. 

(Photo by: Lauren Boston)

How to Comment

Public comments will be accepted through May 11 via the NPS’s Planning, Environmental and Public Comments (PEPC) website at or by mail to: Superintendent C&O Canal National Historical Park Headquarters Office Attention: Georgetown Canal Plan 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100 Hagerstown, MD 21740 


For more information about Georgetown Heritage and the NPS’s shared vision to restore, revitalize and reimagine the first mile of the Canal, visit Georgetown Heritage.


About the Georgetown Canal Plan 

The National Park Service and Georgetown Heritage are partners in restoring, reimagining and revitalizing a one-mile section of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (C&O Canal) National Historical Park, which begins with a comprehensive plan. The Georgetown Canal Plan, which is expected to be completed in early 2020, will be developed in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), ensuring the park’s natural and cultural resources are carefully considered and protected. Funding for the Georgetown Canal Plan comes from the District of Columbia Executive Office of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Georgetown Business Improvement District, and private philanthropy. A combination of public and private sources will fund the implementation of the plan. 


About C&O Canal National Historical Park

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, one of America’s 419 national parks, preserves and interprets the park’s history and natural resources while inspiring adventure and outdoor recreation. Each year nearly 5 million people enjoy the opportunities for fun and learning that the 184.5-mile-long park has to offer.