Ohio and Erie Canalway Association Awards Over $600,000 in Grants for NEO

Cleveland - The Ohio & Erie Canalway Association has awarded $603,830 to 16 regional organizations for projects and programs within the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, which includes Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark, and Tuscarawas Counties.

The Ohio & Erie Canalway Association funded the projects through its Strategic Initiative Program, a competitive grant program that funds organizations and political subdivisions that enhance the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area—which extends 110 miles from Cleveland to New Philadelphia.

A diverse array of 2020 projects will receive funding to support the following initiatives:

Corridor Wide

  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad: Hot Start and Cab Radio Upgrades, $21,780

Cuyahoga County

  • Western Reserve Historical Society: Women & Politics Exhibit, $50,000
  • Historic Gateway Neighborhood: Take a Hike 2021 Season, $15,000
  • Tremont West Development: Tremont Towpath Integration Plan, $15,000
  • Lake View Cemetery Foundation: James A. Garfield Memorial Restoration, $30,000
  • Canalway Partners: CLEVELAND History Days 2020, $15,000
  • LAND Studio Inc.: Forum Pavilion, $40,000 (pending)

Summit County

  • Summit Metro Parks: Freedom Trail Trailhead, $50,000
  • Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Boston Mills Historic District Public Space Improvements, $50,000
  • City of Akron: Rubber City Heritage Trail Phase 1 Design, $75,000
  • Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition: Summit Lake Trail, $75,000
  • Downtown Cuyahoga Falls Partnership: Cuyahoga River and Downtown Cuyahoga Falls History Trail, $4,400
  • Development Finance Authority: Akron Civic Theater Restoration, $75,000

Stark County

  • Massillon Area Greenways Inc.: Navarre Historical Walking Tour Updates, $2,650
  • City of Canal Fulton: Historic Canal Footbridge Repair, $45,000

Tuscarawas County

  • City of New Philadelphia: Southside Community Park, $40,000

OECA operates as a regional extension of its two founding organizations: Canalway Partners, representing Cuyahoga County, and the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition, representing the southern three counties of Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas.

The strategic initiative grant recipients receive funding through the continued, strong support of Congress and specifically members of our Ohio delegation.

“We are extremely grateful to Congress and members of our Ohio delegation for their continued strong support for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Towpath Trail and connector trails,” states Dan Rice, president and chief executive officer of Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition and co-executive director of Ohio and Erie Canalway Association. “Working together, we are creating a legacy for future generations.”

The OECA team is proud to share gratitude with Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, Congressman David Joyce, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congressman Tim Ryan, Congressman Anthony Gonzalez and Congressman Bob Gibbs for the continued strong support for the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, Towpath Trail and connector trails.

"These grants are a powerful tool that serve as a catalyst for supporting our communities,” states Mera Cardenas, executive director of Canalway Partners and co-executive director of Ohio and Erie Canalway Association. “Through this dynamic array of projects, we're proud to amplify this work and uphold the charge entrusted to us by Congress."

Since receiving its National Heritage Area designation in 1996, the Ohio & Erie Canalway has leveraged upwards of $350 million in federal, state, local and private investments throughout the region from the strategic initiative program.

Photo courtesy of The OECA

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