On Saturday, May 8th, members of the Smoketown Rotary Club of Brunswick, MD gathered at the Brunswick Boat Ramp to Launch its C&O Canal Stewardship Program. 

Responding to an invitation by Becka Lee, Canal Steward Program Coordinator for the C&O Canal Trust, the club adopted the Brunswick Boat Ramp / Lock No. 30 / Mile 55 area for its stewardship location. 

Volunteer tasks include general clean up, trash pick up, sweeping, cleaning of the wayfinding and interpretive signs, and the reporting of any hazards to National Park Service officials.

Smoketown Rotarians Jenny Diaz, Chris Mourlas, and Abbie Ricketts completed Canal Steward training, qualifying as Certified Canal Stewards, a requirement of the program.

Canal Stewards Launch Day coincides with the Canal Trust Canal Communities Day in Brunswick directed by Rod Newton. Smoketown volunteers worked beside other volunteers to clean the area at the boat ramp and along the “social trails” nearby.

Along the 184.5 miles of the C & O Canal there are 74 lift locks.  These locks were constructed to help boats overcome the 605-foot elevation change between Georgetown and Cumberland.  The Lock No. 30 in Brunswick is built of Seneca sandstone, Patapsco granite, and some local stone.

Robin Zanotti and Heather Barnes from the leadership team at C&O Canal Trust were also in attendance at the event.

Group photo includes Abbie Ricketts, Karin Tome, Chris Mourlas, Emma Mourlas, Ernie Stepoulos, Jennifer Lolli-Hall, Arch Hodges, Charlie Harris and Dick Foot.