Medina awarded grant for kayak launch on Canal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 January 2021 at 9:22 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: A dock is pictured in Medina’s Canal Basin in this photo from a recent fall day. Medina has received a grant to add a kayak launch at the canal.

MEDINA – The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor announced a $10,500 grant today to help develop and install an ADA-accessible kayak launch on the Erie Canal in downtown Medina.

This is one of 13 Erie Canalway IMPACT! grants for non-profit organizations and municipalities. The grants total $108,787 and will advance projects that preserve and showcase canal heritage, educate youth and welcome people to explore the canal in their local communities, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor said in a news release.

The grants range from $1,500 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $146,630 in private and public project support.

“As the pandemic continues to present abnormal challenges it is especially gratifying to support diverse canal inspired innovations,” said Bob Radliff, executive director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “We are so pleased to make these timely investments and contribute to the resilience of our canal communities.”

The organization now has made 96 grants to communities and non-profit organizations since 2008 that have spurred $2.49 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education, Radliff said.

The IMPACT! grants are made possible with funding support provided by the National Park Service and the NYS Canal Corporation.

“We are proud to support this year’s IMPACT! grant recipients as the winning projects will positively improve canalside communities while ensuring the New York State Canal System continues to drive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and preserving the history of the nation’s most iconic waterway for the next generation,” said Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton.

The 2021 Erie Canalway IMPACT! grant awards include:

  • Buffalo Maritime Center, Buffalo – Award: $12,000 to create an exhibit dedicated to the Haudenosaunee alliance of Native Americans and Erie Canal history to complement Buffalo Maritime Center’s building of the Packet Boat, Seneca Chief.
  • Canal Society of New York State, Port Byron – Award: $5,300 to install wayside signs to improve outreach and accessibility to cultural and natural resources at the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron.
  • Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango – Award: $9,967 to produce a virtual 3-D tour of the museum complex to expand outreach efforts and create new opportunities for education. In addition, develop a STEM-based distance learning program for youth blending concepts of robotics and canal infrastructure.
  • City of Amsterdam – Award: $11,757 to institute creative, place-based visitor enhancements at Riverlink Park and Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook.
  • Corn Hill Navigation, Pittsford – Award: $11,388 to implement a variety of educational initiatives aboard the Sam Patch, including a bird watching tour in partnership with the Montezuma Audubon Society, and hands-on learning for students in the Erie Canal Environmental Education program, which blends STEM, history, and environmental curriculums.
  • Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse – Award: $11,000 to partner with restaurants and other local businesses to offer public programming on the Erie Canal’s relationship to food, specifically as it pertains to agriculture, irrigation and transportation of goods.
  • Erie Canal Discovery Center/Niagara County Historical Society, Lockport – Award: $4,180 to support the development of five virtual lessons on the history, geography, engineering and national impact of the Erie Canal.
  • Lumber City Development Corporation, North Tonawanda – Award: $3,500 to install a historic mural near the dock area at Gateway Harbor Park in the City of North Tonawanda, enhancing the beauty of the park for visitors while establishing a strong sense of place and heritage.
  • Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah – Award: $10,865 to organize a Canalway Conservation Corps to develop early detection invasive species management programs and STEM-based educational opportunities at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.
  • Village of Brockport – Award: $4,830 to enhance Brockport’s self-guided walking tour by upgrading tour materials and interpretive panels.
  • Village of Medina – Award: $10,500 to develop and install an ADA accessible kayak launch located on the Erie Canal in the heart of downtown Medina.
  • Village of Newark – Award: $1,500 to repair vandalism damage to a prominent Erie Canal themed mural on the canalfront and guard against further damage or deterioration with protective coatings.
  • Western New York Land Conservancy, Inc., East Aurora – Award: $12,000 to transform an unused rail corridor into The Riverline, an iconic, innovative, and inspiring nature trail and greenway along the Buffalo River near the terminus of the Erie Canal.