WATERFORD, NY- The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is pleased to announce that 13 non-profit
organizations and municipalities will receive Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants in 2021 totaling $108,787. The
grants advance vital work to preserve and showcase canal heritage, educate youth, and welcome
people to explore the canal in their local communities.
The grants range from $1,500 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $146,630 in private and public
“As the pandemic continues to present abnormal challenges it is especially gratifying to support diverse canal
inspired innovations. We are so pleased to make these timely investments and contribute to the resilience of
our canal communities,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage
Corridor Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 96 grants to communities and non-profit organizations
since 2008 that have spurred $2.49 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and
IMPACT! Grants are made possible with funding support provided by the National Park Service and the NYS
Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “We are proud to support this year’s IMPACT! Grant
recipients as the winning projects will positively improve canalside communities while ensuring the New York
State Canal System continues to drive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and preserving
the history of the nation’s most iconic waterway for the next generation.”
Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) said, “For nearly two centuries, the Erie Canal has served as a vital
resource for our Upstate New York communities, driving economic vitality and instilling in us a sense of place
that connects us to the rich, diverse history of our region. Throughout my years in public office, I have fought
to protect and preserve our cherished sites that offer so much to our Capital Region and beyond. I am deeply
grateful that Amsterdam’s Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook will receive funding from this important
program. I will continue working to deliver needed investments that ensure these public spaces can continue to
be enjoyed for generations to come.”
Congressman John Katko (NY-24) said: “Since coming to Congress, I’ve taken great pride in preserving our
region’s rich history and environment. I’ve advocated for expanding federal funding for the Erie Canalway
National Heritage Corridor and am pleased to see the Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, Montezuma Audubon
Center, Canal Society of New York State at Port Byron, and the Village of Newark benefiting from these funds.
This important funding will greatly help our region showcase our most precious natural and man-made
Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25) said, “Congratulations to the Village of Brockport and Corn Hill
Navigation on receiving these exciting awards. The Erie Canal is one of Rochester’s greatest assets, and this
investment will help expand educational opportunities to showcase our unique heritage. I’m grateful to the Erie
Canalway National Heritage Corridor for their generosity and tireless work to highlight this iconic waterway for
residents and visitors alike.”
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) said, “Erie Canal history plays a critical role in Western New York’s
future, highlighting the importance of connecting people and places as a way to build communities. The over
$31,000 in awards for Erie and Niagara Counties will support The Riverline in Buffalo, public art at Gateway
Harbor, a project complimenting construction of the Seneca Chief Packet Boat in the Longshed at Canalside,
and virtual learning opportunities led by the Niagara County History Center. We fight to protect federal
National Heritage Area funding to keep Erie Canal stories alive and maintain the Erie Canalway as a destination
for local residents and visitors alike.”
Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) said, “The Erie Canal is a historic and revered feature of Western New
York. I am proud to represent several canal communities throughout my congressional district and have deeply
enjoyed learning more about their heritage and efforts to combine community and history. These grants will
help The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor further its important mission of preserving the canal’s
extensive history, while inviting New Yorker’s, and tourists, to learn and participate more.”
2021 ERIE CANALWAY IMPACT! GRANTS
Buffalo Maritime Center, Buffalo
Create an exhibit dedicated to the Haudenosaunee alliance of Native Americans and Erie Canal history to
complement Buffalo Maritime Center’s building of the Packet Boat, Seneca Chief.
Canal Society of New York State, Port Byron
Install wayside signs to improve outreach and accessibility to cultural and natural resources at the Erie Canal
Heritage Park at Port Byron.
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango
Produce a virtual 3-D tour of the museum complex to expand outreach efforts and create new opportunities
for education. In addition, develop a STEM-based distance learning program for youth blending concepts of
robotics and canal infrastructure.
City of Amsterdam
Institute creative, place-based visitor enhancements at Riverlink Park and Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook.
Corn Hill Navigation, Pittsford
Implement a variety of educational initiatives aboard the Sam Patch, including a bird watching tour in
partnership with the Montezuma Audubon Society, and hands-on learning for students in the Erie Canal
Environmental Education program, which blends STEM, history, and environmental curriculums.
Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse
Partner with restaurants and other local businesses to offer public programming on the Erie Canal’s relationship
to food, specifically as it pertains to agriculture, irrigation and transportation of goods.
Erie Canal Discovery Center/Niagara County Historical Society, Lockport
Support the development of five virtual lessons on the history, geography, engineering and national impact of
the Erie Canal.
Lumber City Development Corporation, North Tonawanda
Install a historic mural near the dock area at Gateway Harbor Park in the City of North Tonawanda, enhancing
the beauty of the park for visitors while establishing a strong sense of place and heritage.
Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah
Organize a Canalway Conservation Corps to develop early detection invasive species management programs
and STEM-based educational opportunities at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.
Village of Brockport
Enhance Brockport’s self-guided walking tour by upgrading tour materials and interpretive panels.
Village of Medina
Develop and install an ADA accessible kayak launch located on the Erie Canal in the heart of downtown
Village of Newark
Repair vandalism damage to a prominent Erie Canal themed mural on the canalfront and guard against further
damage or deterioration with protective coatings.
Western New York Land Conservancy, Inc., East Aurora
Transform an unused rail corridor into The Riverline, an iconic, innovative, and inspiring nature trail and
greenway along the Buffalo River near the terminus of the Erie Canal.
ABOUT THE ERIE CANALWAY NATIONAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR
Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and
determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor works to preserve the Nation’s extraordinary
canal heritage, promote the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and foster vibrant communities
connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park
Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities
across the full expanse of upstate New York.