Lock 44 Area Boundary Delineation
The National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, in conjunction with Allegheny Power, plans to undertake vegetation plantings along the common property boundary between the park and the R. Paul Smith Power Plant, Williamsport, MD.
The park's historic canal and towpath run parallel with the electric plant's primary delivery roadway. There are currently three open areas, with a previously existing barricade fence having fallen into disrepair. These areas are open, without property line delineation. Other sections along the common boundary are vegetated with mature trees and understory shrubs. Through internal scoping discussions, it was noted that the park is offering more interpretive programs within this section of the park. Concern was expressed that visitors could wander off NPS property and find themselves quickly on a busy trucking deliveryroad. In order to address this issue, it was suggested to plant trees and shrubs within this area rather than installing fences. Vegetation is lower maintenance and would provide the necessary boundary delineation and would provide consistent boundary treatment to match existing vegetation along the towpath.
A combination of trees and shrubs will be installed. The plants will have roots less than a gallon in size, and the trees/shrubs will be native to the area, species will be chosen by the park's Natural Resource Program Manager. The proposed project reflects recommendations within the 1994 Cultural Landscape Plan for the Williamsport area of the park.
Three areas, located between the Bollman Bridge and Lockwood Road, are candidates for the plantings. The first area is approximately 70 linear feet, the second area (closest to Lock 44) is approximately 30 linear feet, and the third area is approximately 260 linear feet. The approximate total dimensions for the planting areas are 10 feet width x 360 feet long. The plantings will be held back 10 feet from the edge of the towpath. Depth for the planting areas will be adjusted accordingly, but will not exceed 10 feet wide. The trees/shrubs will be planted by volunteers as part the C&O Canal Pride Days on May 1, 2010.
The park's Interdisciplinary Team reviewed the project for impacts to natural and cultural resources. The project does not pose any serious or long-term effects to the environmental, historical, cultural, archeological, or visual resources. It meets categorical exclusion #C.16 –Landscaping and landscape maintenance in previously disturbed or developed areas.
The project also meets the National Historic Preservation Act/Section 106 Programmatic Agreement, Streamlined Review Process #4 – Health and Safety Activities, and #5 – Routine Grounds Maintenance.
For further information about this project, please contact Chief of Volunteers and Partnerships, at 1850 Dual Highway, Suite 100, Hagerstown, MD 21740.