$100K in canal grants announced for tourism projects, but none in Orleans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2023 at 10:24 am

The State Canal Corp. and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor today announced $99,265 for tourism and recreation projects along the canal system.

The competitive grant funding doesn’t include any projects in Orleans County. The Canal Corp. and Canalway National Heritage Corridor in a news release stated the funding supports tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements.

Grants also were approved for 35 events along the canal bringing the total awards to $190,000. The funding is open to counties, municipalities, units of local government, not-for-profit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes.

Grants range from $500 to $24,000 and are spread across the Erie, Oswego, Cayuga-Seneca and Champlain canals. Infrastructure and amenity projects include kayak storage and paddling launches, picnic facilities, restrooms, and park upgrades that better accommodate people with disabilities. Events range from large canal festivals to bike tours to arts and cultural offerings that will contribute to a lively season of activities.

The tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements grant recipients include:

  • Canal Society of New York State – Upgrade restroom facilities at the Samuel Center for Canal History in Port Byron to be fully ADA compliant and include changing stations and greener technology. Awarded: $18,750.
  • Town of Amherst – Expand visitor amenities and inclusive recreation at Veteran’s Canal Park through new kayak storage racks, a “braille trail,” and kiosk. Awarded: $21,084.
  • The Arc Wayne – Create a retail co-op at Arc Wayne’s Street of Shops located along the Erie Canal and Canalway Trail in Newark. Awarded: $24,000.
  • Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Inc. – Upgrade park facilities on museum grounds with new ADA compliant, weatherproof picnic tables, kayak storage racks, benches, and pet waste dispensers. Awarded: $9,800.
  • Hudson Crossing Park, Inc. – Enhance park maintenance equipment storage through the construction of a new shed, allowing staff and volunteers to address safety, security, and accessibility concerns in a timely manner. Awarded: $10,000.
  • Lockport Rotary Foundation – Improve upon the existing comfort station amenities with a new open air picnic pavilion near the Adam Street lift bridge crossing the Erie Canal in Lockport. Awarded: $15,631.

To see a list of the events that received funding, click here.

One of the recipients is the Cycle the Erie Canal event through Parks & Trails New York. That 400-mile bike ride goes from July 9 to July 16 along the towpath and canal trail that passes through Orleans County.

The Village of Brockport also received a grant for a festival celebrating the 200th anniversary of the canal’s western terminus in Brockport. That festival on June 10 features water and land-based activities, student artwork, musical performances of classic Erie Canal songs, vendors, kayaking and a bike rodeo.