Seven education and recreation projects will get off the ground this year with funding support from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.
The grants are aimed at inspiring people to learn more about New York’s canals and further explore the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. They range from $2,000 to $7,000, and are leveraging an additional $77,231 in private and public project support.
In Wayne County, the village of Newark was awarded $2,000 to support art in education in Newark Central School District. Working in partnership with Mural Mania, students will refurbish an existing mural and create a new mural about the Erie Canal.
The intent is to have students work in a day-camp style setting over the summer to create a museum without walls along the village’s canal corridor. Artists from Mural Mania will mentor students and help with the design, painting and maintenance techniques. Newark art teachers will lend their guidance. Each mural will take approximately four to seven days to complete and, if maintained properly, will last approximately 30 years.
“Newark CSD could not be more excited to cooperate with the village in the implementation of this grant,” said Matt Cook, superintendent. ”The Erie Canal is an important part of our heritage, our present and our future. Finding new ways to teach students to honor the past, while capitalizing on this incredible resource right now, is a perfect analogy for much of what we are doing in education in 2018.”
Locations are yet to be finalized, but possible sites include under the Main Street Bridge, on the northern side of the abutment for the old railway bridge across from IEC Electronics and/or a low retaining wall on the western part of the village’s canal path. Murals will be flanked by signage that will name the scene, date completed, sponsorship and participants.
Students will learn about history and culture by incorporating it into their art lessons about creating murals, work with professional mural artists and experience all the facets involved in creating murals from design to materials and painting, maintenance and upkeep.
“We would like to thank the Erie Canalway for this grant,” Mayor Jonathan Taylor said. “The opportunity to partner with our schools on a project that enhances the experience of all visitors to the Canal path and continues our goal of making the path a destination is fantastic.”
Corn Hill Waterfront and Navigation Foundation received $6,000 to provide opportunities for students from Rochester City School District to participate in a new environmental education/science, technology, engineering and mathematics program on the Erie Canal aboard the boat Sam Patch.
Rochester Accessible Adventures was awarded $7,000 to expand access to recreational opportunities along the Erie Canal to people with disabilities and their family and friends. Funding will support replication of RAA’s adaptive paddling and cycling center model in Fairport to a second location at CityGate in Rochester and potentially a third location in Lockport. The CityGate location will enable use by Monroe Community Hospital rehabilitation programs.
“While large investments often draw the greatest attention, small projects are adding up to big results for communities and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor as a whole,” said Bob Radliff, executive director. “We are grateful for the work of canal communities and organizations across the state for the great work they do to advance education, recreation and preservation along this historic waterway.”
Over the past 10 years, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has made 69 small grants to communities and nonprofit organizations that have spurred $1.67 million in additional investments in heritage preservation, recreation and education.