Grants Include Funding for Extensive Tour to Celebrate Erie Canal’s Role in Corning Glass Moving Its Operations to the Finger Lakes 150 Years Ago

For Immediate Release: 12/15/17

The New York State Canal Corporation today announced $1 million in canal-related grants for municipalities and nonprofit organizations to enhance tourism and economic development along the Canal System as part of more than $755 million awarded Dec. 13 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo following recommendations from his Regional Economic Development Councils.

The Canalway Grant Program awards will help advance capital projects that continue the celebration of the Erie Canal bicentennial, which began this year, and provide funding for local efforts designed to attract even more visitors to the Erie Canal and Erie Canalway Trail.

“The quality of the Canalway grant applications this year demonstrated that communities and nonprofits are excited to continue efforts to enhance and improve the canal experience,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “Backed by Governor Cuomo’s commitment to bolster economic development and tourism, we look forward to working with the grant recipients to help these worthy projects succeed.”

Canalway Grant Program funds will support the following:

  • Corning Museum of Glass ($148,000) to install a mobile glass-blowing studio on a barge to provide free demonstrations at waterfront locations across the state. The tour will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Corning Glass moving its operations from Brooklyn to the Finger Lakes region via the Hudson River and Erie Canal.
  • South Street Seaport Museum ($150,000), for improvements to the historic tugboat W.O. Decker, which will tow the Corning Museum glass-blowing barge on its tour across the state.
  • Town of Amherst ($65,000) for improvements on the Erie Canalway Trail on Tonawanda Creek Road from Sweet Home Road to New Road.
  • City of North Tonawanda ($100,000) for improvements to Gateway Harbor Park, including a building that will house public restrooms, a harbormaster office and storage space.
  • The College at Brockport ($57,000) to build a multi-use trail along the south side of the Erie Canal connecting the college to downtown.
  • Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Heritage Fund ($150,000) to support work at the former Matton Shipyard in Cohoes consistent with a feasibility and master plan which will support development of the shipyard into an interpretive historic park.
  • Village of Fonda ($30,000) to develop a parking area for campers, a bathroom facility, entertainment pavilion and other amenities for a planned park and community space along the Mohawk River.
  • Niagara County Historical Society ($150,000) to expand and enhance exhibits at its Erie Canal Discovery Center in Lockport.
  • Wayne ARC ($150,000) to help renovate up to 10,500 square feet of space at its facilities on Van Buren Street in Newark serving visitors to the Port of Newark Canal Park on the Erie Canal.

The first six projects also received additional funding through grant programs administered by Market NY, the Department of State, the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Council of the Arts.

About the New York State Canal Corporation

New York’s canal system includes four historic canals: the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca. Spanning 524 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. In 2017, New York is celebrating the bicentennial of the start of the Erie Canal’s construction.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192