Tag Archives: Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor

Call for Entries: 2012 Erie Canalway Photo Contest


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Entries are being accepted now through September 7, 2012 for the 7th annual Erie Canalway Photo Contest. Winning photos will be displayed in the 2013 Erie Canalway calendar.

Amateur and professional photographers are invited to submit prints and digital images in four contest categories: Bridges, Buildings and Locks; For the Fun of It; On the Water; and the Nature of the Canal.

The contest captures and shares the beauty, history, people, and  distinctive character of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, which is comprised of the Erie, Oswego, Cayuga/Seneca, and Champlain Canals, and their historic alignments, and surrounding communities.

Official contest rules and an entry form are available online.

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor spans 524 miles across the full expanse of upstate New York, encompassing the Erie, Cayuga-Seneca,  Oswego, and Champlain canals and their historic alignments, as well as more  than 230 canal communities. Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, in partnership with the National Park Service, collaborates with government agencies, communities and organizations to protect and  promote the canal corridor for all to use and enjoy.

Photo: 2011 Photo Contest Winner, “Lockport Locks” by Stephen Bye.

New York Heritage Weekend, May 19 and 20th


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Organizations throughout the state will celebrate New York history during this year’s New York Heritage Weekend on May 19th & 20th. Now in its 3rd year, the weekend will offer special programs, discounted or free admission to sites and events that celebrate national, state or local heritage.

Guided hikes, local history festivals, historic garden events, open historic houses, and events that explore all kinds of New York culture and history are on tap. Last year Heritage Weekend hosted 166 Heritage Weekend events with 143 federal, state, and private organizations. For a full searchable listing of events, and maps see www.heritageweekend.org .

Not only does this Heritage Weekend celebrate New York’s rich history, but it also boosts local economies. According to recent studies, tourism generates 81 billion dollars and sustains over 670,000 jobs in New York. According to a recent study recent commissioned by the U.S. Cultural & Heritage Tourism Marketing Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce, 78% of US domestic travelers participate in cultural or heritage activities.

“Heritage Weekend opens the door to so many of New York’s great historic and cultural treasures,” said Beth Sciumeca, Executive Director of the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. “Once that door is open, people will find that there is a lifetime of places to experience throughout the state.”

New York Heritage Weekend 2012 is funded in part by The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and sponsored by I Love NY, National Park Service, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and participating event partners.

Handy Guide to Cycling the Erie Canal Updated


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The outstanding bicycling and sightseeing waiting for visitors along the legendary Erie Canal is highlighted in the newly revised edition of Cycling the Erie Canal: A guide to 400 miles of adventure and history along the Erie Canalway Trail. The book, which features new sections of trail and up-to-date listings of lodging, bike shops, and other services, is published by Parks & Trails New York (PTNY), the statewide non-profit parks and trails advocacy organization.

Cycling the Erie Canal is a resource for cyclists planning to bike the entire route as well as for riders looking to enjoy an afternoon on the trail. It is also useful for walkers, hikers, in-line skaters, boaters, and auto travelers who want to enjoy the trail and some of the historic and cultural sights along the route.

The 144-page guidebook includes 42 full-color maps and more than 100 color photos that detail the trail route, as well as the things to see and do along the way. In addition to parks, museums, historic sites, and visitor centers, the maps indicate lodging and bike shops. Services such as restaurants, convenience stores, ATMs, pharmacies, post offices, hardware stores, and parking areas are also shown.

Cycling the Erie Canal includes interpretive information about the history of the canal, plus tips on cycling, travel, and trip preparation. A spiral binding, and 5” by 9” size make the guide convenient to carry.

The Erie Canalway Trail route runs east-west between Buffalo and Albany and follows both active and historic sections of the Erie Canal.

The guidebook is the outgrowth of Parks & Trails New York’s many years of involvement with the Canalway Trail. PTNY runs an annual cross-state bicycle ride along the Erie Canal which draws 500 participants from across New York, the U.S. and the world.

“Over the years, more and more requests have come in from cyclists who want to ride the route on their own and are looking for a resource to show them what to see and do along the way, where to find a B&B, and how to locate a bike shop, pharmacy, or ATM. Cycling the Erie Canal provides this critical information,” says Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York and co-author of the guidebook.

Cycling the Erie Canal retails for $23.95. Parks & Trails New York members enjoy a special discount price. It is available from Parks & Trails New York by visiting the Parks & Trails New York website at www.ptny.org or calling 518-434-1583. The guide is also available at bookstores, bike shops and museum and gift shops.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers.

The Status of Heritage Area Reform Legislation


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The National Heritage Areas Act of 2012 (H.R. 4099) introduced to Congress on February 29, 2012 is expected to support the work of four National Heritage Areas in New York State. U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (NY-21) and Charlie Dent (PA-15), co-chairs of the Congressional National Heritage Area Caucus, introduced H.R. 4099, a bill to reform and modernize the nation’s National Heritage Areas (NHA). The bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources’s Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on March 1.

Six U.S. Representatives from New York joined Congressman Tonko (NY-21) as an original sponsor on the bill that would affect the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership, and Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.

U.S. Representatives from New York signing onto the legislation as original sponsors were Eliot Engel (NY-17), Richard Hanna (NY- 24), Maurice Hinchey (NY-22), Chris Gibson (NY-20), Nan Hayworth (NY-19), and Nita Lowey (NY-18).

“The heritage-rich 21st Congressional District helped write our nation’s history,” said Congressman Paul Tonko. “A sense of place stands as a persuasive tool in the very competitive sweepstakes for jobs. Business decision makers are often attracted to a region that expresses significance, including its historical fabric. Therefore, by deepening heritage awareness and understanding a sense of place we are more marketable for jobs. A more defined sense of place provides an important tool in the tool kit for economic recovery.”

The National Heritage Area Program is an initiative of the Department of the Interior which relys on a public-private partnership; federal dollars are matched with an average of $5.50 in other public and private funding. “Heritage areas have a proven record of fostering job creation and advancing economic, cultural, historic, environmental, and community development,” according to a prepared statement issued by the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. “In addition to creating jobs, NHAs generate valuable revenue for local governments and sustain communities through revitalization and heritage tourism.”

The legislation takes a new approach to heritage areas by establishing for the first time a standardized set of criteria for the designation of new NHAs and the review of those previously authorized. “Having a clearly defined structure to oversee the management of heritage areas will allow these popular public-private partnerships to better preserve the nation’s heritage and spur economic growth with minimal federal support,” the statement said.

Similar proposals to reform and modernize the program had been recommended by both the Bush and Obama administrations.