News Release

Education Coordinator at C&O Canal National Historical Park Receives Prestigious National Park Service Award

Holly Lynch
Hollie Lynch, the education coordinator for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

NPS Photo

News Release Date: November 17, 2017

Contact: NPS Office of Communications

The National Park Service announced today that Hollie Lynch, the education coordinator for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, is the recipient of the 2017 Freeman Tilden Award, the National Park Service’s highest honor for excellence in interpretation and education. Lynch was recognized for her role in developing and implementing a series of innovative curriculum-based park programs for 200 schools in Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. 

“Hollie turned the historic C&O Canal into an outdoor classroom for more than 10,000 elementary and high school students last year,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “Her unique educational programs brought history and science to life, turning textbook subjects into multisensory experiences that will be long remembered.”

In multiple locations along the 185-mile long C&O Canal, the park provides a classroom without walls for teachers and PreK-12 students in neighboring school districts. The programs support national and state learning standards, feature pre/post visit materials, and offer students hands-on and STEM-based activities.

Lynch designed the programs in partnership with local educators. She also recruited and trained volunteers for the Canal Classroom Corps which helped lead the presentations. Through their combined efforts, many teachers now view the park as a dynamic classroom that enhances curriculum and provides students with meaningful learning experiences.

Since 1981, the annual Freeman Tilden Award has recognized outstanding contributions to the practice of interpretation and education by a National Park Service employee. The award was created to stimulate and reward creative thinking that results in positive impacts upon the preservation of the parks and the visiting public. The award is named for Freeman Tilden, who has inspired generations of interpreters across the world and whose Interpreting Our Heritage continues to be a definitive text for the discipline.

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.govon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Last updated: November 17, 2017

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