New grant program will boost tourism initiatives along Erie Canal

Posted 2 February 2022 at 11:23 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: These cyclists were among 350 who rode the Erie Canal towpath last July. They are shown in Albion in between the two lift bridges.

Press Release, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

WATERFORD – The New York State Canal Corporation, through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor are launching a new competitive grant program to support tourism and recreation along the New York State Canal System, including canal waterways and Canalway Trail.

The 2022 program will provide funding to support tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements, and events.

Funding is open to counties, municipalities, units of local government, not-for-profit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes.

“The Canal Corporation is proud to fund and partner with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in launching this new grant program that aims to grow unique recreation and tourism experiences along New York’s iconic Canal system,” said Brian Stratton, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation. “This funding will continue to make opportunities along the canals more exciting and accessible for visitors and we look forward to providing this support in an effort to improve experiences while promoting the connectivity between our historic waterways, trails, and canalside communities.”

The grant program includes two funding categories:

• Event Support, with an award range of $500 to $15,000, and

• Tourism Infrastructure & Amenity Support, with an award range of $5,000 to $24,000.

Applicants may apply for one or both categories.

Projects submitted should demonstrate how they will achieve one or more program objectives:

• facilitate recreation and/or tourism

• enhance visitor amenities

• encourage overnight stays

• improve the visitor experience

• make recreational and tourism assets more accessible

• attract and serve diverse audiences

• improve connectivity between recreation areas and communities or between waterways and land trails.

“We look forward to bringing many innovative ideas and exciting events to life through these grants. Combining federal, state, and local resources in support of community-based projects and events will benefit residents and visitors to New York’s iconic canals,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Potential applicants will find details by clicking here.

Applications open on Feb. 22 and are due on April 1. A virtual Q&A will be held on March 3 at 10 a.m.; registration details will be posted on the website.