With its 184.5-mile towpath, network of adjacent trails, access to the Potomac River, and historic structures, the C&O Canal National Historical Park is a premier destination for hikers, cyclists, families, and more. But despite record visitation (nearly 5 million), federal funding has diminished. The Trust fills the void, raising funds to preserve the Park’s natural and historical resources, and managing programs to promote outdoor learning, healthy living, conservation, and volunteerism. Each year 8,000–10,000 K-12 students engage in interactive, STEAM-based learning; more than 1,000 volunteers (many from local businesses) rally to preserve, clean up, and beautify the park; and 2,200 overnight visitors stay at one of seven rehabilitated lock houses (formerly homes for lock keepers and their families)– a program that highlights chapters in American history while protecting endangered structures. The Trust fosters a love of nature – and a sense of responsibility for its preservation.