The Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum has received a $23,800 matching state grant to create a plan to convert the remains of the Merrill-Soule Canning Factory into a welcome area along the Erie Canal, the museum announced.
Chittenango Landing will have to raise $4,200 in matching funds for a total grant of $28,000.
The grant, announced Tuesday, is among 22 awards totaling $450,000 for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York’s state parks and historic sites and administered by the State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation and Parks & Trails New York, a statewide non-profit group.
The project will develop a plan for the ruins of a 19th century cannery building behind the museum’s present visitor center alongside the canal. This plan will incorporate the ruins into a welcome area for hikers, bikers, paddlers, and community members on the Old Erie Canal State Park’s trail, which will coincide with the development of the Empire State Trail throughout the state. The welcome area will also be integrated with the Chittenango Creekwalk and the Canalway Trail, encouraging canal travelers to head into the village and patronize local businesses.
Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum is a rebuilt 19th century dry dock and industrial complex that interprets the history of the Erie Canal by engaging the public through educational and recreational programming.
“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for us at the museum,” said Executive Director Joe Treglia. “It’s a great step forward in our vision of a regional education and recreation complex for canal communities.” The project work group that created the proposal was headed by museum employee Derrick Pratt and board member Karen Ezzo, with help from Sarah Braymer of the Park and Trail Partnership Program.