The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the New York State Canal Corporation are pleased to announce that 42 not-for-profit organizations and municipalities will receive NYS Canal System Tourism Infrastructure and Event Grants totaling $190,000 in 2023. The grants will support seven tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements and 35 events along canal waterways and the Canalway Trail.
Recipients 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.
In Little Falls, the Youth and Family Center (formerly the YMCA) received a grant for the 36th Annual Canal Celebration, which will be held from August 9, 2023, through August 13, 2023.
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “For nearly 200 years, the Erie Canal has been an economic engine, and as we near its third century of operation, the strategic investments being made through this program are key to ensuring it continues to support the communities that grew alongside it. Improving infrastructure and bringing residents and visitors to canalside events will stimulate downtowns and create new opportunities to experience our Canal waterways.”
Now in its second year, the grants program represents a significant investment in canal recreation and tourism. Grants range from $500 to $24,000 and will leverage an estimated $438,775 in additional support.
“We are thrilled to support community partners to offer an exciting lineup of events and improved services for visitors all along the canals. Investing in canal tourism benefits residents and visitors alike and helps to maximize the economic impact of tourism for communities across New York,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.