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NY History And Economic Development Councils

This posts is the second in a series of posts examining the awards approved by the Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) from the perspective of the Path through History.

In the first post we saw that in 2013 and 2014 there were only two grants directly connected to the Path through History and both were media-based awards. There also was a glimpse of hope in an award that could potentially generate a Route 28 Path through History. This awards hints at the unrealized potential of the Path through History project.

Below is a list of projects which were found using the term “path” for the search criteria. The next post will address awards with search criteria of “history.” Following that will begin the investigation of the other awards by the ESD MNY excluding the following path item from 2013.

Finger Lakes:  This is a partnership between NYS parks and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference
Trail to cross promote and market NYS’s longest footpath and the state parks along or adjacent to the 958 miles of the trail system. $82,710

The list of path projects below excludes those devoted to “career paths.” Since I do not have degree in NYS Bureaucracy, I offer no advice as to which organization one should apply to an award in which circumstances.


The Canalway Grants Program is a competitive matching grant program available to eligible municipalities and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations along the New York State Canal System. Funding is for Capital Projects that meet the objectives of the Regional Economic Development Councils and the NYS Canal Recreationway Plan.


Holley: The Village of Holley in Orleans County will use this funding in order to undertake the Holley Canal Park Improvement Project. Project activities include improvements to the existing gazebo, pavilions, and stone paths. $65,776

Tonawanda: Erie Canal Bike Path Extension $144,707


Saratoga County: Stillwater Historic Saratoga Battlefield Champlain Canal Connector Trail $98,942

Schnectady County: Rotterdam Junction Bike Path Railway Tunnel $150,000
Schenectady County: Mohawk Hudson (Canalway Trail) Bikepath. $75,000

Department of State

Projects can include local government reorganization, functional or service delivery consolidation, city or county charter revisions that include functional consolidation, cooperative service agreements, establishment of regional service delivery mechanisms, job creation and placement, workforce education and development, soft skill development, entrepreneurial development, and to revitalize communities and waterfronts.


Geneva: The City of Geneva will design and construct shoreline improvements and a multi- use path along Seneca Lake from Long Pier to Castle Creek. $800,000

Halfmoon: The Town of Halfmoon will construct a multi-use trail along the historic Erie Canal Towpath on the north shore of the Mohawk River. $200,000

Tarrytown: The Village of Tarrytown will prepare a feasibility study to identify options to restore and reopen the pedestrian pathway under the Metro North railroad tracks. $37,500


Pittsford Trail connections to the Erie Canal Path and Auburn Rail Trail, wetland
improvements, and trail amenities. $177,250

Tarrytown: Andre Brook Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge with pathways along
the Hudson River $47,300

Environmental Facilities Corporation

The Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP) provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that improve water quality and demonstrate green stormwater infrastructure in New York.

Yonkers Saw Mill River Daylighting Green Phase 3 $1,076,977

Tonawanda Lincoln Park Green Pathway sidewalk replacement $700,000

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

NYSERDA’s Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program encourages communities
to develop and implement regional sustainable growth strategies.

Albany County Rail Trail: This project will construct 5.5 miles of a proposed 9.3 mile shared -use path along a former rail bed. $1,003,478

Clarkstown Transit Oriented Planning for Nanuet including pedestrian paths $150,000

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

The EPF provides matching grants on a competitive basis for the acquisition, planning, development, and improvements of parks, historic properties, and heritage areas located within the physical boundaries of the State of New York.

Corning: The restoration of Canfield Park, which dates back to the early 20th Century, will include grading and drainage improvements, restoration of the network of paths, installation of benches, and landscaping. $114,302

Hastings: Quarry Park Trail proposes a natural park setting with walking paths, shaded
on-Hudson seating areas, an open-air venue, and interpretive signage, and the completion of Quarry Trail will provide the final link in the local trail system.  $94,250 and $61,750

Jamestown: Development of new concrete sidewalk paths, branded signage trail markers,
scenic vistas of the Chadakoin River $499,955

Nassau: Nassau County proposes to initiate planning and design and begin the first
phase of construction for a cost-effective, interconnected set of pathways for residents and tourists to walk, bike and ride from the LI Sound to the Great South Bay and Jones Beach, $200,000

Newstead: The Newstead Recreational Trails Expansion Project will add 7,500 feet of new
accessible paved pathway to Newstead’s popular recreational trails system. $200,000

Yonkers Groundwork Hudson Valley will undertake a feasibility study for the design and
construction of a 2-mile rail-trail that stretches from the Downtown Yonkers Waterfront to the 242nd Street subway station in Riverdale $160,244


Orange County: Black Rock Forest Consortium Public Access Pathway $216,924

Glen Cove: The City of Glen Cove will prepare designs to redevelop a waste management
complex on Glen Cove Creek. Designs will be prepared to add this site to the adjacent 19-acre park and add amenities including pathways, landscaping, parking, and signage. Two grants:
Department of State $300,000
Parks $300,000

Based on this investigation, it would appear that Canals and NYSOPRHP are the best bets to contact for funding on paths. These paths tend to be scenic and along a body of water such as a canal, lake, or river or may be a rail trail. These paths are meant to be walked and biked. While they certainly are legitimate endeavors in and of themselves, only by a stretch of imagination could they be called paths through history.

This is not to say someone wouldn’t make that claim. I should point out that at the New York History Commission roundtable May 29, 2014, one of the concerns raised was precisely this issue of where historic sites should turn for funding.

One hopes that the proposed NYS History Commission and/or the attempt by the Museum Association of New York to get the NYS Education Department to fund museum education (including zoos, aquariums, art museums and science museums as well as history museums) will bring some order to the funding process for history museum.

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