Internationally Recognized Experts in Canals, Hydropower, Landscape Architecture and Economic Development to Decide Upon Recipients for Up to $2.5 Million in Awards

For Immediate Release: 12/18/17

WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority and New York State Canal Corporation today announced the panel of landscape architecture, economic development and parks experts who will judge a $2.5 million global competition that seeks the best ideas to transform the state’s Canal System

“The deep well of experience that this panel offers ensures we will identify the highest-quality entries from among the many we expect to have submitted,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “The judges have been visionaries in their own lines of work and stewards of significant projects that have already been built. They are eminently qualified to determine which Canal competition entries have the most potential.”

The judges for the Reimagine the Canals Competition are:

  • Carol Ash, Chair and Founding Trustee of the Carey Institute for Global Good and a former New York State parks commissioner
  • Steve Dunlop, Chief Executive of Scottish Canals
  • Richard M. Larrabee, former Director of the Port Commerce Department at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
  • Mia Lehrer, Founder and President of Studio-MLA, a landscape architecture firm
  • Holley Leicht, Executive Vice President of Real Estate Development and Planning at Empire State Development
  • Hugh O’Neill, President of Appleseed, a firm that provides economic research and economic development planning to government, nonprofits and corporations
  • Darlene Upton, Executive Director at Parks Canada in charge of waterways and parks and historic sites in Ontario

“We’ve worked with some of these panelists on other projects and know they are passionate about improving the New York State Canal System,” said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. “Entrants should take comfort in knowing the merits of their ideas will be fully evaluated given the wide range of expertise among the judges.”

The Reimagine the Canals Competition was created to encourage visionary and implementable ideas that will transform how people use and experience the 524-mile state Canal System, which includes the Erie, Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals. The competition is seeking entries that:

  • Enhance the Canal System as a tourist destination and recreation asset
  • Promote sustainable economic development along the canals
  • Recognize the heritage and historic values of the Canal System
  • Bolster the Canal System’s long-term financial sustainability

The deadline for entries is Jan. 12, 2018. Up to eight finalists will be selected and awarded up to $50,000 to further develop their proposal for the final round. NYPA and the Canal Corporation will work with teams to identify local partners to advance the finalist projects, such as a municipality—there are 226 towns, villages and cities the canals pass through—or a state or local nonprofit that does canal-related work. The judges will recommend two or more winners to receive $250,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the scope of the project.

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