Georgetown Canal Plan

When we started to think about the unique assets that make up Georgetown’s section of the C&O Canal, we realized that the potential was huge. With such a great opportunity in front of us, we wanted to get it right. So Georgetown Heritage, the C&O Canal NHP, and the DC Office of Planning have come together in partnership to develop the Georgetown Canal Plan, a comprehensive master plan for this one-mile section of the canal.

Click here to learn more about James Corner Field Operations, the team selected to lead the design work on the canal plan.

The Georgetown Canal Plan will be comprehensive – covering everything from preserving the 1830s stone walls to transformative designs for some of the under-used spaces along the canal.

  • Conditions Assessment: Documenting and analyzing the current state of the physical structures of the canal, as well as how people currently use the park.
  • Historic Preservation: Inventorying and developing a plan to preserve the historic elements of the canal.
  • Safety & Accessibility: Recommendations to improve access to the canal and make it a safer, more comfortable place to be through interventions such as lighting, ramps, signage, and seating.
  • Recreation Opportunities: In addition to the paddling dock to be built in Spring 2018, the Master Plan will create opportunities and inviting spaces for all kinds of recreation; from active recreation like cycling and kayaking, to passive recreation like bird watching or gongoozling (watching activity on a canal).
  • Transformative Designs: There are five nodes/plazas within this one mile stretch of canal that are currently underused or not used at all. The Master Plan will explore concepts for transformative designs for these spaces:
    • Zero Mile Marker/Tide Lock
    • Lock 1
    • Mule Yard
    • Fish Market Square
    • Aqueduct Overlook
  • Programmatic Plans: In order to bring life and activity back to the canal, the Master Plan will include plans for interpretation, education, and cultural programming.

From Plan to Park

A plan is meant to be followed, not to gather dust on a shelf.

  • A Practical, Priority-Based Timeline: Georgetown Heritage and C&O Canal NHP will determine the priority of the projects in the Master Plan, and work with consultants to develop a timeline and project sequencing plan.
  • Environmental Compliance - The Canal Plan/Environmental Assessment will comply with National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the NPS Director’s Order 12, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.

There will be many opportunities during the planning process for you to get involved. Sign up to receive email updates about the Georgetown Canal Plan using the form on the right.