NYS Canal Corporation, Parks and Trails NY Invite Volunteers to Help Beautify Canal Trails 

For Immediate Release: 04/17/19

ALBANY— In what has become as sure a sign of spring as any upstate, the New York State Canal Corporation will partner with Parks & Trails New York for the 14th annual Canal Clean Sweep, where volunteers will help beautify trails just before thousands of bikers, hikers and joggers return to the canal corridor with the warmer weather.

Most events will occur on Earth Day weekend, April 25-27, when groups will fan out along the system to pick up tons of trash, clear brush and do landscaping. There are expected to be more than 100 clean-up events along the 524-mile canal corridor, which includes the Erie, Oswego, Champlain and Cayuga-Seneca canals.

"Every year we look forward to seeing all the people who come out to improve the canals' scenic and historic sites, so they can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike," said Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director. "We're grateful that so many people are passionate about maintaining such an important resource. But we're always looking for more people to join them."

The Canal Clean Sweep comes as the state moves closer to completing the Empire State Trail, which at 750 miles will be the longest multi-use recreational trail network in the U.S. The Erie Canalway Trail will be part of that network, running from Albany to Buffalo.

The Erie Canalway Trail accommodates more than 1.5 million trips by pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers annually. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail is a dedicated off-road trail, much of it along the canal's former towpath.

"Canal Clean Sweep is an impressive grassroots effort, with local organizers and volunteers coming out to spruce up their section of Canalway Trail," said Robin Dropkin, Parks & Trails New York executive director. "Their combined efforts show the dedication and engagement of Canalside communities in making the Canal and Canalway Trail a truly world-class recreation network. A huge thank you to all our Clean Sweepers!"

To find an existing event to volunteer at, view the event finder map.

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 2019, New York will mark the 200th anniversary of the first trip taken on the Erie Canal, from Rome to Utica.

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Steven Gosset
Media Relations
(914) 390-8192