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Erie Canalway Impact Grants Expand

June 25, 2019 7:30 AM | MANY Staff (Administrator)

Starting this September, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor is expanding their Erie Canalway Impact Grants.

New Funding

The new grant program includes smaller grants that range from $2,500 to $12,000 that will fund programming, interpretation, trail development, and pre-engineering and design plans. While multiple project applications are encouraged, these impact grants cannot be used to fund the same project repeatedly. There are no exclusions for previously funded projects by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor or through NY Canal Corporation, although first-time applicants are highly encouraged. These one-year long grant investment grants are available for projects that take place within the boundaries of the National Heritage Corridor. Those eligible to apply are 501c3 Non-Profits, municipalities, and federally recognized Native American Tribes. 

What types of projects are they looking for? 

Corn Hill Waterfront and Navigation Foundation – Ride & Glide Tour Series 

“We love to see projects submitted in partnership,” says Andy Kitzmann, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Assistant Director. Previously funded projects include the Corn Hill Navigation and the Sam Patch Erie Canal Boat Tours that partnered with the Rochester City School District to develop and implement a 4th-grade curriculum that featured STEM materials that students learned right on this replica 1800s packet boat. 

The project was developed in conjunction with the zoo, the local BOCES, and the Rochester City School District. It is a great example of four different entities coming together, focusing on STEM, and using the Canalway. 

Other examples include the study on the old Erie Canal kayak launches by Montgomery County. The grant funded the research to turn the informal kayak launches into formal, ADA compliant, offer parking, etc. The new grants will fund this type of pre-development work. 

2020 will also be another busy year for important anniversaries like the Women’s Suffrage Centennial in Seneca Falls and the ongoing celebration of the Erie Canal Bicentennial (2017-2025). Projects that commemorate these anniversaries are also encouraged to apply.

Other ideas?

  • Links to the Canalway’s environmental resources

  • Programs that focus on STEM

  • Programs that get people out on the water and raise awareness of the recreational resources that the canal has to offer

    • Like projects with a recreational focus (kayaking or cycling)

    • Or get people out and enjoying the Canalway trail

Programs like “Kayak Through History” at the Schenectady County Historical Society, or “Tuesdays on the Tow Path” at the Chittenango Boat Landing Museum that use the canal to promote recreation in creative ways have both been previously funded by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. 

Mr. Kitzmann also encourages programs or projects that focus on STEM-based education that can help fill the gap in the canalway’s interpretation. “Science, technology, engineering, and math that’s what the canal is all about. It’s an exercise in engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, geology, math, surveying, and more.”

First Time Applying?

If you’re new to grant applications or new to an organization that has an ideal project for this funding, potential applicants should contact Andy Kitzmann. “We encourage people to call in and bounce their ideas off me and ask questions,” Mr. Kitzmann said. “It’s helpful for people because it gives them a sense of where our priorities are and we can make links between what their projects are and what we’re looking to accomplish with our grant program and find those commonalities.”

Important Grant Information

  • Grants range from $2,500 - $12,000

  • A 1:1 match is required

  • Projects and programs must take place within the boundaries of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

  • Project timelines are 1-year in length

  • Funding applications are open to 501c3, municipalities, and federally recognized Native American Tribes

  • Grant applications will open in September 2019 

  • Grant applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by 4 PM, Friday, October 18, 2019.

  • Grant awards will be announced in January 2020

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Map 

Further Reading/Resources

Andy Kitzmann, Assistant Director, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

(518) 237-7000 ext. 201


Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Grants


An Award Winning Approach


Previously Funded Projects


Case Studies


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