Lockport, Medina, North Tonawanda – All Receive IMPACT Canal Grant Funding for 2021

MEDINA, NY– The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor announced that 13 non-profit organizations and municipalities will receive Erie Canalway IMPACT! Grants in 2021 totaling $108,787. The grants advance vital work to preserve and showcase canal heritage, educate youth, and welcome people to explore the canal in their local communities.

The grants range from $1,500 to $12,000 and will leverage an additional $146,630 in private and public project support. 

Mayor Mike Sidari said, “As a recipient of a $10,500 Erie Canalway IMPACT! grant, the Village of Medina is grateful to the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor for their generosity and support with the development of our ADA-accessible kayak launch project along the canal. Every year, Medina’s hospitable shop owners, hometown restaurants and distinct inns look forward to hosting kayakers, boaters, and tourists from all over the world. This ADA-compliant launch will be a considerable enhancement along the canal in Medina for visitors and residents.”

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) said, “The Erie Canal is a historic and revered feature of Western New York. I am proud to represent several canal communities throughout my congressional district and have deeply enjoyed learning more about their heritage and efforts to combine community and history. These grants will help The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor further its important mission of preserving the canal’s extensive history, while inviting New Yorker’s, and tourists, to learn and participate more.

“As the pandemic continues to present abnormal challenges it is especially gratifying to support diverse canal inspired innovations. We are so pleased to make these timely investments and contribute to the resilience of our canal communities,” said Bob Radliff, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 96 grants to communities and non-profit organizations since 2008 that have spurred $2.49 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation, and education.

IMPACT! Grants are made possible with funding support provided by the National Park Service and the NYS Canal Corporation.

Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “We are proud to support this year’s IMPACT! Grant recipients as the winning projects will positively improve canalside communities while ensuring the New York State Canal System continues to drive economic growth while safeguarding the environment and preserving the history of the nation’s most iconic waterway for the next generation.”


Buffalo Maritime Center, Buffalo
Award: $12,000
Create an exhibit dedicated to the Haudenosaunee alliance of Native Americans and Erie Canal history to complement Buffalo Maritime Center’s building of the Packet Boat, Seneca Chief.

Canal Society of New York State, Port Byron
Award: $5,300
Install wayside signs to improve outreach and accessibility to cultural and natural resources at the Erie Canal Heritage Park at Port Byron.

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango
Award: $9,967
Produce a virtual 3-D tour of the museum complex to expand outreach efforts and create new opportunities for education. In addition, develop a STEM-based distance learning program for youth blending concepts of robotics and canal infrastructure.

City of Amsterdam
Award: $11,757
Institute creative, place-based visitor enhancements at Riverlink Park and Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook.

Corn Hill Navigation, Pittsford
Award: $11,388
Implement a variety of educational initiatives aboard the Sam Patch, including a bird watching tour in partnership with the Montezuma Audubon Society, and hands-on learning for students in the Erie Canal Environmental Education program, which blends STEM, history, and environmental curriculums.

Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse
Award: $11,000
Partner with restaurants and other local businesses to offer public programming on the Erie Canal’s relationship to food, specifically as it pertains to agriculture, irrigation and transportation of goods.

Erie Canal Discovery Center/Niagara County Historical Society, Lockport
Award: $4,180
Support the development of five virtual lessons on the history, geography, engineering and national impact of the Erie Canal.

Lumber City Development Corporation, North Tonawanda
Award: $3,500
Install a historic mural near the dock area at Gateway Harbor Park in the City of North Tonawanda, enhancing the beauty of the park for visitors while establishing a strong sense of place and heritage.

Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah
Award: $10,865
Organize a Canalway Conservation Corps to develop early detection invasive species management programs and STEM-based educational opportunities at the Montezuma Wetlands Complex.

Village of Brockport
Award: $4,830
Enhance Brockport’s self-guided walking tour by upgrading tour materials and interpretive panels.

Village of Medina
Award: $10,500
Develop and install an ADA accessible kayak launch located on the Erie Canal in the heart of downtown Medina.

Village of Newark
Award: $1,500
Repair vandalism damage to a prominent Erie Canal themed mural on the canalfront and guard against further damage or deterioration with protective coatings.

Western New York Land Conservancy, Inc., East Aurora
Award: $12,000
Transform an unused rail corridor into The Riverline, an iconic, innovative, and inspiring nature trail and greenway along the Buffalo River near the terminus of the Erie Canal.

Nearly 200 years after its construction, the Erie Canal remains an iconic symbol of American ingenuity and determination. The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor preserves our extraordinary canal heritage, promotes the Corridor as a world-class tourism destination, and fosters vibrant communities connected by more than 500 miles of waterway. It achieves its mission in partnership with the National Park Service, New York State agencies, non-profit organizations, local residents, and more than 200 communities across the full expanse of upstate New York.