2018 Clean Sweep a Sparkling Success

Spring Cleaning from Buffalo to Albany
Thank you to the event organizers and thousands of passionate volunteers who participated in the 13th annual Canal Clean Sweep over Earth Day Weekend!

Because of your hard work raking, collecting trash, and planting along the Canalway Trail System, the Canalway Trail is ready for the summer season!

#WhadjaFind? Competition 
This year, we asked for pictures of the strange “Canal artifacts” collected during sweep events as part of the #WhadjaFind? competition. We had a great response, with many event organizers submitting images of the “treasures” they unearthed, as well as other shots of Sweeper hard at work.

And the winners are….. (DRUM ROLL PLEASE)……

Best Clean Sweep Spirit: Clifton Park’s Parks, Trails & Riverfront Sweep 
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With 30 events across the Town and 400 volunteers lending a hand, Clifton Park takes Clean Sweep to the next level.



Strangest Trash Treasure Find: Sam Patch Boat Clean Sweep

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Quoting the organizer of the Sam Patch Boat Clean Sweep: “Hundreds of pounds of trash, a small statue of Ganesh, a rubber snake, dozens of wine corks and a rusted eyelash curler.”



Biggest Trash “Collection”: Tonawanda Gateway Harbor Clean-up

They get big crowds and amass huge piles of collected debris every year on the Niagara Frontier. This year, cold weather kept some volunteers at home, but they still collected a huge haul. Nice work!


Thank you to everyone who participated in #WhadjaFind? There are too many honorable mentions to mention, but the three winning groups will receive some Erie Canalway Trail goodies. 

Check out our Canal Clean Sweep gallery to view pictures from Clean Sweep events across New York.

Clean Sweep is a State of Mind
PTNY offers multiple ways to carry the spirit of Clean Sweep through the entire year, namely the Canalway Trail Adopt-a-Trail and Trail Ambassador programs. Groups that register as trail adopters perform routine maintenance tasks on their trail section. Canalway Trail Ambassadors do their volunteering on the move, providing assistance and a welcome to trail users.

If you’d like to get involved, visit ptny.org, call (518) 434-1583 or email aat@ptny.org for more information.

Thanks to all of this year’s Clean Sweep organizers and volunteers, the Canal Corporation for all it does to maintain the Canal Corridor as a world-class recreational venue, and Canal and Canalway Trail supporters!


Canal Clean Sweep celebrates 10th anniversary

Volunteers wore smiles and their commemorative, 10th Annual Canal Clean Sweep t-shirts as they took to rake and shovel on trail sections across the state. For the first time in several years, and perhaps due to some supernatural realization of the event’s 10th anniversary, the skies were clear and volunteers enjoyed beautiful sunshine across much of the Canal corridor.

This year’s Clean Sweep included an impressive 107 events, organized by businesses, civic groups, and community organizations. The level of participation demonstrates how much communities recognize and value what the Canal and Canalway Trail contribute to their quality of life.

Thank you to all the dedicated event organizers and thousands of volunteers who made this year’s event a special one. As many Clean Sweep organizers and volunteers have come out to spruce up their favorite trail sections year after year, in reality THANKS FOR 10 GREAT YEARS OF INVOLVEMENT!

Check out the map of events as there are still a few Clean Sweep events scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

Here are photos from Canal Clean Sweep events across the state….




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Brockport swim team keeps it clean

The Brockport High School Girls Swim Team has been involved in the Canalway Adopt-a-Trail program since its inception in 2003, demonstrating a commitment to their local community and providing a great service for all who love and use the trail.

The group  cleans and maintains a section of trail in the Village of Brockport from the Smith Street Bridge west to the flood lock by the SUNY-Brockport dorms. The size of the volunteer force on any given cleanup varies, but generally about 30 girls participate each year.Brockport HS Girls Swim Team

The team hits the trail for a major cleanup in August, and then participates in bike rides and runs on the trail in September, October and November. They’ll pick up where they left off in the spring with monthly walks with smaller groups, usually the upper-classmen. The Swim Team also volunteers with the Morgan Manning House, a historic home in Brockport that now serves as a museum.

Don Voorheis, the coordinator for the high school group, reports that there has been less and less trash over the years. He also has some ideas for trail enhancements in Brockport that the group may pursue, including a doggie bag dispenser on the trail.

Mr. Voorheis sums up the motivation for trail adoption this way, “Many of our swimmers love to help out the community and this is an easy way for them to start realizing how beneficial it can be to take a half hour out of the day once a month to help the area.  Also, the girls can then use this as a community service project if they need to have any documentation for classes.”

Thanks to all the swimmers who have taken part in Brockport’s Adopt-a-Trail program over the years. Your efforts make a difference.




Row for Hope – young Clean Sweep participants continue to give back

The  McQuaid Jesuit High School crew team uses the Erie Canal and Canalway Trail near Rochester for training. In return, the group has been an active participant in Canal Clean Sweep. For the last two years, the canal’s water trail has played an additional role in the team’s continuing efforts to give back as the location for their 340-mile Row for Hope.

This year, seven young men left the boathouse at the University of Buffalo in late June to begin their eight-day journey to Waterford in a Resolut racing boat. The team rowed an average of 42 miles per day with the longest day measuring 48.5 miles. By rowing the length of the canal, in the last two years the team has raised almost $70,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in Rochester.

Thanks guys for all your efforts!

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2014 Canal Clean Sweep: A great success

On April 25-27, volunteers across the state showed their appreciation for the New York State Canal System and Canalway Trail by participating in the 9th annual Canal Clean Sweep. Overall, volunteers from more than 150 businesses, civic groups, and community organizations hosted 106 events on sections of Canalway Trail and adjacent areas. Due to their efforts, this year’s Canal Clean Sweep was the most successful to date. Thank you to all organizers and volunteers, and to the New York State Canal Corporation for sponsoring the event!

Here are photos from Canal Clean Sweep events across the state….

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Give Back! Canal Clean Sweep April 25-27

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Last year’s eighth annual Canal Clean Sweep brought together over 150 communities, not-for-profit organizations, civic groups, businesses, and social clubs to complete nearly 100 cleanup and beautification events along the Canal System and the Canalway Trail. This year we are hoping to engage even more communities and organizations.

Please join us by helping to organize an event in your community! Whether it’s picking up litter and brush on lock grounds, helping to remove debris from a local Canal park, or preparing a section of Canalway Trail for the thousands of visitors that arrive each year;Clean-Sweep-logo your event will give volunteers an opportunity to work hand-in-hand with their neighbors and Canal Corporation employees to enhance and preserve this tremendous environmental, cultural and historic resource. Register today!