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The basic premise of “Hate Canal” (11/7) was to question whether any more public monies should be spent on upkeep of the C&O Canal. Seems to me that answer is yes, when you consider the historical aspects, the fact that 4 million people (according to the article) visit the park each year, and the recreational opportunities that the canal presents to D.C. and its suburbs. The canal is very easy to get to, and the combination of the Potomac on one side and the canal on the other is extremely pretty and unique.

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There is a real sense of camaraderie and community among those people who use the canal, wherever they come from. Anyone who’s ever walked, jogged, bicycled, paddled, skated, or cross-country skied on the towpath or canal knows that seeing someone coming in the other direction will likely elicit a friendly acknowledgement and a mutual recognition of the value of the setting. The whole notion of a national park system is to recognize the value of certain intangibles.

The canal plays a huge role in the life of the communities adjacent to the waterway. In that regard, my community and others in Maryland and D.C. owe a large debt of gratitude to Rep. Morella for her efforts in supporting the canal these many years and to private groups like the C&O Canal Association and Melissa Andrews’ C&O Canal Preservation Coalition, who fight to preserve such a unique resource. We should all be willing to invest such efforts in making our environment and communities better.

President

Cabin John Citizens Association

Cabin John, Md.