Tourism Infrastructure & Amenity Support

Tourism Infrastructure & Amenity Support

Program supports capital improvement projects and acquisition of equipment and amenities that enhance tourism, especially overnight stays, and recreational assets along the NYS Canal System (Canal waterways and Canalway Trail).

  • Construction or improvement of recreational assets including trails, parking areas, accessible boat launches, docks, storage facilities, rest stops, and aesthetic features such as public art, plazas, gardens or amphitheaters.
  • Purchase and installation of equipment, machinery and materials designed to create or enhance visitor experiences such as grounds maintenance equipment, bike racks, potable water, restrooms, porta-johns, showers, benches, wayfinding signage (following New York State Guidelines), WIFI, and security upgrades.
  • Repair and restoration of existing waterway and trail features or amenities.
  • Preservation, rehabilitation, or enhancement of canal-specific historic, cultural or natural resources.
  • Enhancements or equipment to improve access to the NYS Canal System, visitor centers, or canal-related tourism sites.
  • Contracted services including garbage removal, porta-johns, bike and kayak rental services, and maintenance crews. Applicant may request up to 10 percent of the grant award amount for project management (unless staff salary is used to meet match requirements). If requested, the 10 percent must be included in the project budget as part of the total grant request (not in addition to the grant request).
AWARD RANGE: $5,000 to $24,000

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

Funding is open to counties, municipalities, units of local government, not-for-profit organizations and federally recognized Native American tribes located within the boundaries of the National Heritage Corridor (shaded green boundary on map).

Applicant must include a resolution or other clear and strong documentation demonstrating organizational, municipal or tribal leadership support for the project.

The New York State Canal Corporation is subject to the State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Act (Chapter 433 of the Laws of 2010) and must, to the extent possible, make funding decisions consistent with the provisions of that Act.

Ineligible applicants include private individuals, for-profit businesses, political or religious based organizations, and certain special purpose units of government, such as schools or fire districts


Applicants cannot request funds for:

  • Payments for previous activities and projects
  • Continuation of projects funded in prior grant rounds
  • Reduction of existing debt
  • Indirect costs
  • Purchase of real property
  • Political or religious activities
  • Additions to reserve funds or endowments of an organization
  • General organizational marketing (including development of websites)
  • Projects or programs that will re-grant the funds received
  • Festivals or events (these are funded separately through the Event Support grants)

Matching Funds: The requested grant amount must be at least equally matched by the applicant, clearly demonstrated in the project budget. Sources of Matching Funds include:

  • Cash Match: Cash donations, including foundation or local government grants, corporate contributions, or income from products or services. Federal and state funding may not be used as match.
  • In-Kind Match: Donated goods and services to the proposed project including volunteer and staff time. Staff time may only be used as in-kind match if the applicant is not requesting staff time (up to 10% of grant request) as part of the grant award. If volunteer hours are used as a match, then the name of each volunteer, tasks performed, work hours and signature must be recorded on a separate document sent with the final report. The current estimated value of volunteer time may be found here: Value of Volunteer Time — Independent Sector

Unacceptable match includes operating costs of the site/organization, routine repair and maintenance costs, and staff and volunteer costs/time unrelated to the project.

Permits: The applicant is responsible for obtaining all required permits and approvals from federal, state, and local agencies, including, but not limited to, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, and NYS State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and any others that may be required by the NYS Canal Corporation or Erie Canalway.

Historic Preservation Compliance: Most projects will require a formal review by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to determine compliance with historic preservation laws and regulations. Successful applicants will be advised of obligations to meet this requirement upon award notice.

Design Guidelines and Artwork Approval: Applicants are required to follow NYS Canal Corporation and Empire State Trail design guidelines for wayfinding signs and trail amenities. The Grantor reserves the right to review and comment on any infrastructure or signage produced through the grant. Projects such as interpretive signs and murals must receive written approval on final designs by the Grantor during the design stage prior to final design and production. Designs not meeting stated design standards will not be reimbursed.

Recognition: Grant funding must be recognized in press releases, websites, and other promotional materials. Guidelines supplied for use of logos must be followed. Recommended credit: This project is funded in part through the generous support of the NYS Canal Corporation and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor.

Interim and Final Reporting: Grantees must submit a six-month interim project update and a final report with expense and matching funds documentation using forms provided. Reports will include a summary of the project and results achieved, copies or examples of documents or other products produced, and photographs of the project.


Support requested for consultant services (planning, engineering, architectural, graphic design or other professional services) shall summarize the contractor selection process and the contractor's qualifications. If a consultant is to be selected after a grant commitment, the applicant must submit the proposed consultant's qualifications to the Grant Manager for review and approval, prior to finalizing grant funding. The use of NYS-certified minority and women-owned business enterprises and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses is strongly encouraged.

For additional guidance, please contact the Grant Manager.

Funds will be distributed on a reimbursement basis at project conclusion, contingent upon receipt and approval of the Grantee's final report. Only fully documented (e.g., copies of checks, bank statements, contracts, etc.) and approved expenses will be reimbursed. Matching funds must also be fully documentedRequests for advances will not be considered.Recipients will have up to two (2) years to complete their projects, if necessary. The grant period begins at the date of award notification. Requests for contract extensions will be considered only if received in writing; the NYS Canal Corporation and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor have sole discretion to approve any extension requests. Failure to begin project within six months of grant agreement may result in cancellation of award