Posted by: Ann Corcoran | July 2, 2011

Cardin gets grant money for C&O Canal National Park education project, so what

Sounds like a nice little project right?  How could anyone complain about a measly ten thousand dollars here and ten thousand dollars there of your tax dollars going to educate the kids about nature.

Below is the brief story from The Potomac Patch that drew my attention:

Students will be going from the classroom the riverbed after the National Park Foundation (NPF) awarded an $11,000 grant to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, which will allow teachers at Allegany County Public Schools to develop lesson plans involving the park.

The Park Stewards Grant that the C&O Canal National Historic Park received will give high school teachers from the Allegany County Public School system a chance to learn about the park and develop park-related lesson plans to use in the next school year.


The NPF awarded three grants totaling $39,700 to National Parks in Maryland. The Catoctin Mountain Park received a $10,450 grant, which, like the C&O Canal grant, will go to enhance educational opportunities for an area school. An $18,250 grant will develop trails at Antietam National Battlefield.

Readers should know that the National Park Foundation is an extra-governmental agency.  By that I mean, Congress set it up to look like it’s a charity (and of course they will take your donations), but it isn’t a 501(c)3 charitable organization open to scrutiny by donors.    You cannot follow the money-trail for this “organization.”

It may have been set up by Laurence Rockefeller* to accommodate his “gifts,” but it is getting federal grants and I bet those far outweigh any private donations.   You need only visit USA Spending, here, to see how much of your money goes to the “foundation.”

You knew that  it had to be federal pass-through funds or why would Senator Ben Cardin be taking credit for the “foundation” grants?

Beware words like “greenways!” as the Patch article continued:

Cardin is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which seeks funding to develop national parks and greenways in Maryland.

A little history lesson on the “greenways” concept is warranted.  Way back in the 1960’s, Congressman Mo Udall wanted national land use planning, imagine that!  Imagine the federal government zoning your town!  He didn’t succeed but his green cadres went to plan B, create fingers and pockets of federal control from sea to shining sea and then begin to control the land adjoining the federal project or in the VIEWSHED of the federal controlled area —they called it “greenlining.”

That is precisely what the C & O Canal is —- a long green line of federal land,  but much wider then it needed to be.  The feds could very easily just have created the park in 1971 as a narrow strip, but they went further.   In Washington County, where I live, they took through condemnation approximately 70 properties adjoining the old canal.  Those property owners were mostly lower income people who had no clue how to fight the powerful federal government.

Peoples’ memories are short and Sen. Ben Cardin knows that.  And, even if they knew and remembered, most people cannot wrap their minds around the concept that property ownership and property rights, fundamental to our freedom and liberty, are being whittled away (on purpose!) little by little by “public” control of land.

We don’t have as much federal control of land in the East as the poor Western states have, but I assure you that Sen. Ben Cardin is working on rectifying that!  You might want to check out just one story, of many, about how much land the federal government does own, here.

Greenlining and greenways are just mechanisms to control more land even if they don’t own it outright by convincing state and local officials to zone the viewsheds to “protect” the government-owned land from your potentially tasteless use of your property.

So, this little grant for this little education project looks so benign, but it is indeed to indoctrinate the next generation about how good it is to have the federal government as your friend and in your back yard.

* The Rockefeller family was behind the creation of the National Parks.  It is not a story of generosity and kind-hearted concern for you, but it’s too much to get into here.



  1. […] Here is what I said in a post almost a year ago about Senator Ben Cardin bringing in federal bucks for the C & O Canal.  Land use controls will inevitably follow a trail designation: […]

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