CAZENOVIA — The New York State Canal Corporation and village of Cazenovia on June 13 dedicated a new launch for kayaks and canoes that provides a dedicated space for boaters in an increasingly popular park.
The launch in Lakeland Park was funded by a $70,000 grant from the Canal Corporation as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council program.
The park previously had a single access point for boaters and swimmers. The new launch will be situated at the park’s southern border away from swimmers and a small public beach.
“Beyond the beauty of Cazenovia Lake, this boat launch enables kayaks and canoes to connect to a wonderful section of Chittenango Creek,” Brian U. Stratton, Canal Corporation director said in a news release. “This launch will enable more boaters to explore a beautiful and historic stretch of the state Canal System.”
Cazenovia Lake is linked by a feeder canal to Chittenango Creek. The creek feeds into the historic Erie Canal and ends at Oneida Lake, which is part of the modern-day New York Canal System.
The funding also helped pay for the repair of a canal wall at the site of the launch.
“Increasing access to outdoor recreational opportunities has been identified as a local priority,” Cazenovia Mayor Kurt Wheeler said. “We have a wealth of natural resources located in and around Cazenovia and have increasingly become a destination to enjoy the outdoors. This project will enhance the ability of residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of Cazenovia Lake and Chittenango Creek.”
The boat launch was funded through the state’s Canalway Grant Program, which includes up to $1 million in competitive grants available to eligible municipalities, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations along the New York State Canal System for canal-related capital projects. The minimum grant request amount is $25,000, and the maximum grant request is $150,000.
Proposed projects need to demonstrate how they will achieve some or all of the following goals: expand public access, increase visitation and recreational use, stimulate private investment, improve services and amenities for Canalway land and water trail users, and enhance the connections between the canal and the corresponding region, the release stated.
The Canal Corporation says priority this year will be given to projects that encourage canal-related tourism and stimulate private investment in tourism infrastructure. The deadline to apply is July 26. More information is available at: www.canals.ny.gov/community/grant.html.