Canal Clean Sweep Celebrates 16th Year With Over 120 Clean Up Events

A huge thank you is in order to all who came out on Earth Day weekend, April 23-25, to celebrate the 16th annual Canal Clean Sweep. The weekend saw over 120 events from Buffalo to Albany, with small groups of family and friends spending their day collecting litter, raking, and planting. The Canalway Trail witnessed a record 4 million visits in 2020, meaning it was in much need of some TLC! Thanks to all these amazing volunteers, the Erie Canalway Trail is ready for another summer season.

From BSA packs and Girl Scout troops to Rotary Clubs and Friends groups, all the volunteers took the changes to this year’s event in stride, cleaning up huge swaths of the trail while staying socially distant.

And as always, volunteers rocked their Clean Sweep t-shirts out on the trail, still managing to look good while doing good.

Clean Sweep Commendations

We had so many great groups of Sweepers out on the trail this year, it was hard to pick the winners! Thanks to all who sent in pictures of the treasures found and of their teams hard at work.

Best Clean Sweep Spirit:

This award goes out to the Shue group in Fulton, NY. We loved seeing the whole crew rocking this year’s Canal Clean Sweep t-shirts. Looking good Shues!

The Shue group rocking that Clean Sweep swag!

Strangest Trash Treasure:

The much anticipated strangest trash treasure award goes to Glenn Gordon in Amherst, NY for finding this barnacle bike. So cool to see nature reclaiming this piece of trash. Definitely adds character to your ride!

Barnacle bike found by Glenn Gordon

Largest Haul:

Some groups found they had more trash to collect than others, but the group from the Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club outdid themselves. That is quite the haul!

The Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club showing off their haul.

The fun continues!

AdoptATrail Tshirt 49462

Parks & Trails New York offers many ways to keep the spirit of Canal Clean Sweep with you year-round. The Canalway Trail Adopt-a-Trail and Trail Ambassador programs are both ways you can do good all year. Individuals and groups that register as Trail Adopters perform varying maintenance tasks for their local trail section on their own time. If you’re more of a people-person, consider becoming a Trail Ambassador. Ambassadors do their part by welcoming and providing assistance to trail users.

If you would like to get involved, visit, call (518) 434-1583, or email for more information.

Thank you again to all this year’s Clean Sweep organizers and volunteers and to all the Canalway Trail supporters. We would like to especially thank the Canal Corporation for all it does to ensure the Canal Corridor remains a world-class recreation venue.

See you next year!

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