Boat Builder

Boat Builder

Harrison named National Park Service’s national volunteer of the year for his efforts in bringing a canal boat back to Great.

Last year, 154,000 people volunteered in some capacity for the National Park Service. Potomac resident Don Harrison last week was recognized as the Park Service’s individual volunteer of the year.

“To be picked out as the one, it makes you feel … wow,” Harrison said.

In a Take Pride of America ceremony at the Hotel Washington on May 3, the National Park Service presented Harrison with the George B. Hartzog Individual Volunteer Award.

Harrison led a fundraising drive to help pay for the construction and transportation of a canal boat in C&O Canal National Historical Park by Great Falls Tavern. The previous boat, the Canal Clipper, carried more than 18,000 passengers each year, but became inoperable in March 2003 because of irreparable damage to its hull.

Harrison coordinated a fundraising effort that successfully raised the $545,000 necessary to build the boat. The Charles F. Mercer arrived at the Tavern last August. “I’m honored, but I had lots of help,” Harrison said. “It was a team effort.”