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Greenway grant program enhances tourism and recreation on NY`s canal system

New York State Canal Corporation Director Carmella R. Mantello announced a new $6 million Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program for capital projects that preserve and enhance recreational opportunities for…

New York State Canal Corporation Director Carmella R. Mantello announced a new $6 million Erie Canal Greenway Grant Program for capital projects that preserve and enhance recreational opportunities for water and land-based users and promote tourism, historic interpretation and community revitalization along the New York State Canal System and the proposed Erie Canal Greenway. Funding for the Program was proposed by Governor Pataki in January 2006 and included in the final 2006-2007 State Budget. All grants require a 50/50 match.



This grant program is the next step in our efforts to realize the Governor`s vision for an Erie Canal Greenway and promote an exciting, vibrant and revitalized Canal System, Director Mantello said. The Governor and the State Thruway Authority have provided significant investment and support for the Canal System over the past 12 years. These grants will build on those investments by supporting more public access, amenities and development along the Canal to attract visitors from around the world and help revitalize our upstate communities.



The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis to local communities and not-for-profit organizations for projects that meet the objectives of the Governor`s vision for an Erie Canal Greenway, first proposed in May 2005. Projects must be consistent with the Report on the Future of New York State Canals, released in December 2005 by the New York State Canal Corporation Interagency Task Force, and the 1995 Canal Recreationway Plan.



Eligible projects should expand public access, increase recreational use, provide improved services for motorized and non-motorized boaters, expand and promote tourism, private investment and economic development, offer a greater appreciation and understanding of canal and community history, and protect environmental and historic canal resources. Use of funds for land acquisition is prohibited.



The grants will be awarded in the following four categories:


  1. Erie Canal Greenway Development and Tourism Promotion ($2 million) – Funding is available for capital projects related to community development along at least one of the four canals of the Canal System (Erie, Oswego, Champlain and Cayuga-Seneca) that implement at least one of the six Greenway principles, as outlined in the Report on the Future of the New York State Canals. Projects may include the development of Canal or municipal public parks, park improvements, parking facilities at sites on or related to the Canal System, improvements to historic canal structures or sites, permanent signs designed to promote sites or facilities related to the Canal System, Canal tourism-related facilities or structures, including but not limited to permanent interpretive and informational kiosks.



  2. Canalway Land Trail ($2 million) – Funding is available to help construct and enhance the Canalway Trail, as outlined in the 1995 Canal Recreationway Plan. Projects must be located along one of the four canals of the Canal System or may be trail linkages or connections to existing Canalway Trail segments.



  3. Erie Canal Greenway Water Trail ($1 million) – Funding is available to develop new non-motorized boat launch and landing sites. Motorized boat launch and landing sites must include facilities dedicated to non-motorized boating access. Funding also is available to enhance existing boating access points through projects such as restrooms, potable water, electric utility service, lighting, boat pump-outs, permanent informational exhibits or kiosks consistent with Canal Corporation design guidelines and other capital projects.



  4. Canal Community Infrastructure Projects ($1 million) – Funding is available to restore, develop and expand the infrastructure along the Canal for the benefit of local communities. Priority projects will include docks providing public access, fishing piers, and construction or repair of retaining walls or bulkheads along the Canal System and other canalside capital improvements.


All projects must be located on Canal land, public lands or on private land with permanent public access through an easement or other means acceptable to the Canal Corporation and must be open to the public.

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