By: Camilla Sandoval
For Latino Conservation Week, I teamed up with my fellow C&O Canal LHIP intern up in Great Falls in Potomac, Maryland. Together, we planned a day of activities for young children to experience the C&O Canal and learn more about what the park offers. Ultimately, our hope was that kids would walk away with the feeling that this park belonged to them.
Some of the activities that we had planned were to shadow a Park Ranger, play games from the nineteenth century, ride a nineteenth century replica excursion
boat, and go on a scavenger hunt. The week of our event was very hot and humid, living up to the reputation that summer in the Washington, DC area has. This may have strongly influenced our low turnout as we had one kid (my 9 year old sister) spend the day with us.
The heat and humidity forced us to cancel the canal boat ride and spend less time outside than we planned. At the very least, our one guest enjoyed the visitor center, time period games, and views of the Potomac River that runs parallel to the canal. Having never been to the C&O Canal before this event, my sister left with questions about the Canal and the workings of a National Park and with the intention of returning to one of the park’s trails (in less dangerous heat), a sign that this day was successful in spurring her interest.