C&O Canal plans new HQ, visitor center in Washington County

10/02/2018| Kevin Brandt

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C&O Canal plans new HQ, visitor center in Washington County

10/02/2018 | Kevin Brandt

Guest feature: Kevin Brandt is the C&O Canal National Historic Park Superintendent. Follow along with the C&O Canal on Facebook and Twitter.

A new headquarters for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park is expected to bring jobs and an economic boost to Williamsport, Md.

The National Park Service (NPS) and Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), with support from Washington County, Md., has reached an agreement to identify and rehabilitate property adjacent to the park to serve as a visitor center and the park’s new headquarters.

“Moving our headquarters to Williamsport creates a sense of community,” Superintendent Kevin Brandt said. “It makes sense to bring park managers back to the front lines, and our agreement with MEDCO and relationship with Washington County are major steps forward. There is still work to be done, but I know that by working together, the town, county, state and the park, will all benefit from having the C&O Canal headquarters in Williamsport.”

The relocation will bring more than 75 jobs to Williamsport, Md., create efficiencies by consolidating park operations in Washington County to one location and bring new investment and economic opportunities to surrounding communities.

Approximately 5 million people visit C&O Canal National Historical Park each year. In 2017, more than 420,000 of these visitors came to Williamsport, spending nearly $6 million in the local community and supporting more than 800 local jobs.

Over the past 10 years, NPS and the state of Maryland have invested more than $12 million in rehabilitating the historic features of the C&O Canal in Williamsport. The relocation of the park’s headquarters ensures that this successful partnership will continue for years to come.


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