Grants Will Fund Initiatives to Enhance Various Sites in Canal Communities

For Immediate Release: 12/14/2016

The New York State Canal Corporation today announced that municipalities across upstate New York will receive a total of $1 million in grants as part of the more than $700 million in awards that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2016 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) are providing to spur economic growth throughout New York State.

“Governor Cuomo’s commitment to promoting sustainable development by preserving New York’s historic Canal system is abundantly clear in these grants to the cities, towns and businesses that border its banks,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “The Erie Canal is a major economic engine that spurs tourism year after year, and I applaud the Governor for making strong investments as we prepare to celebrate the bicentennial of this enduring waterway next year.”

The grants in this program will support improvement projects and initiatives along the Canal across upstate New York. Each project will benefit its respective municipality or organization by investing in the areas surrounding the Canal and Canalway Trail, helping to cultivate local economies and tourism in each region.

The Canal Corporation awards will support the following projects:

$150,000 awarded to the City of Schenectady - This project will include the construction of a walking trail, visitor’s center with public restrooms and approximately 75 feet of large vessel dockage space.

$148,000 awarded to the Erie Canalway Heritage Fund Inc. - This project will stabilize three original buildings at the Matton Shipyard in Cohoes at the junction of the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers.

$144,000 awarded to the Corning Museum of Glass - This grant will fund the Corning Museum of Glass’ project to install a mobile glass blowing studio on a Canal barge to provide demonstrations to the general public at waterfront locations along New York’s waterways in Steuben, Monroe, Seneca and Onondaga Counties.

$125,000 awarded to the National Women’s Hall of Fame (NWHF) - This project is phase three of a project that will transform the empty Seneca Knitting Mill into the Center for Great Women – the headquarters of the National Woman’s Hall of Fame. Work will include demolition, construction, interior build-out and site work of the first floor of the Mill, creating 4,200 square feet of habitable space for exhibits along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal.

$120,000 awarded to Wayne County - This grant will provide funding for materials and installation of a former railroad bridge in Wayne County in order to remove the biggest off-road obstacle to extending the Erie Canalway Trail to connect with Seneca and Cayuga Counties.

$97,000 awarded to the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce - This grant will fund a series of art and culture events to promote the Erie Canal bicentennial in the City of Rome.

$85,000 awarded to the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation - This grant will fund updates and improvements to the Erie Canal Museum, located at the base of the Flight of Five locks.

$62,000 awarded to the City of Cohoes - This project will create an engaging Canal exhibit for the Cohoes Visitor’s Center in time for the Erie Canal bicentennial celebration and will feature a model lock and other model machines. The project is part of a larger revitalization effort to support tourism in Cohoes.

$39,000 awarded to the Canal Society of New York State - This grant will fund a joint collaboration with the Canal Society of New York State and the Erie Canal Museum to do statewide outreach for the Erie Canal bicentennial through a design that will be utilized throughout the eight years of the bicentennial.

$30,000 awarded to Madison County - This project will develop and install wayfinding signage within the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park, which spans three counties (Onondaga, Madison, and Oneida) and contains the longest and one of the only remaining portions of the original Erie Canal system.


New York’s Canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning more than 500 miles, the waterway links the Hudson River with the Great Lakes, the Finger Lakes and Lake Champlain. The canals form the backbone of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and connect hundreds of unique and historic communities. The Erie Canalway Trail is a multi-use trail, designed to accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Canalway Trail from Albany to Buffalo is now a dedicated off-road trail, much of it along the canal’s former towpath. Together the canals and trail create a world-class recreationway that is a vibrant, scenic and unique New York resource.

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Shane Mahar
Office of Media Relations and Communications
(518) 471-5300