Increasing Tourism Infrastructure and Events with a New Grant Program

New York State’s Canal system keeps getting better.

Last month, the New York State Canal Corporation, through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor launched a new competitive grant program to support tourism and recreation along the New York State Canal system, including its waterways and Canalway Trail.

The two new grants will provide eligible applicants with funding to support tourism infrastructure and amenity improvements, and events.

Awards for the Tourism Infrastructure & Amenity Support grant range from $5,000 to $24,000 and will be used to support capital improvement projects and acquisition of equipment and tourist amenities that enhance tourism and recreational assets along the NYS Canal system. Specific uses may include construction or improvement of recreational assets; the purchase and installation of equipment, machinery and materials designed to create or enhance visitor experiences; the repair and restoration of existing waterway and trail features or amenities; preservation, rehabilitation, or enhancement of canal-specific historic, cultural or natural resources, and more.

Additionally, the Event Support grant, which ranges from $500 to $15,000, will support public events and festivals that encourage exploration and enjoyment of the wealth of cultural, heritage, nature and recreational offerings within New York State’s canal corridor, including events that focus on the heritage and culture of the canals, events that promote recreation, especially when they encourage use of the NYS Canal system, events that promote performance-based art on the canals including theater and music, and events that actively include or serve people with disabilities or people from underserved populations.

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton explained the significance of the 2022 grants noting that this funding will continue to make opportunities along the canals more exciting and accessible for visitors while promoting the connectivity between the historic waterways, trails, and canalside communities.

Funding is open to counties, municipalities, units of local government, not-for-profit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes.

With spring just around the corner, there’s no better time to apply for grants that will improve canalway experiences and improve the preservation of the Erie Canal’s impressive history, that will in turn entice a larger population to visit the NYS Canal system and boost tourism.

Those interested in applying to receive grant funding can find details at Applications are open through April 1, 2022.

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