As soon as 5.5 miles of Erie Canalway Trail opened in Lockport last fall, Kathy O’Keefe and her business Windsor Village Shops jumped on the opportunity to adopt a one mile segment just outside the village of Lockport. She made her decision to join the Canalway Trail Adopt-a-Trail program long before the pavement dried, however.
Kathy owns Windsor Village Shops, a collection of what she refers to as “grassroots-minded” small businesses housed in a restored Mid-Nineteenth Century building that includes a greenhouse built with stone cut from the Erie Canal. These businesses include several boutique shops and a cafe. Aside from the building’s historical significance, her investment in the Windsor Village Shops is also linked to the construction of the adjacent segment of Erie Canalway Trail — she saw the new trail as a source for hundreds of potential customers. Once the trail opened, Kathy put out a brightly painted orange bike to welcome trail users as they pass through Lockport.
Building on this welcoming sentiment, Kathy decided to use the Adopt-a-Trail program as a way to keep the trail around her business looking as great as it did the day it opened. Thanks to the manpower associated with Windsor Village Shops, Kathy has assembled a group of about a dozen volunteers to assist in these efforts. In addition to picking up debris and litter, they plan to plant wildflowers adjacent to the trail and raise the profile of their group by hosting Canal Clean Sweep and Canal Splash events.
The Erie Canalway Trail is a 360-mile multi-use trail extending between Buffalo and Albany. It is part of the larger 524-mile New York State Canalway Trail System. More than 50 groups have adopted trail segments throughout the system. Go to Parks & Trails New York’s website to check out which sections of trail are available near you and learn more about how you can participate in the Canalway Trail Adopt-a-Trail program.