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Canal Clean Sweep event looking for volunteers, organizers

The New York State Canal Corporation will partner with Parks & Trails New York for the 13th annual Canal Clean Sweep, which will bring together some 3,000 volunteers across the state to help beautify canal trails as New York prepares to celebrate the centennial of the state Canal System.

Most events will occur on Earth Day weekend, April 20-22. Groups fan out along the system to pick up tons of trash, clear brush and do landscaping.

Last year, there were more than 100 clean-up events along the 524-mile canal corridor, which includes the Erie, Oswego, Champlain and Cayuga-Seneca canals. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the New York State Canal System, formerly known as the Barge Canal.

The Erie Canalway Trail and the Champlain Canalway Trail will be completed by 2020 as part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Empire State Trail initiative, which at 750 miles will be the longest multi-use recreational trail network in the U.S.

The Erie Canalway Trail accommodates more than 1.5 million trips by pedestrians, bicyclists, and cross-country skiers annually. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Albany to Buffalo is a dedicated off-road trail, much of it along the canal’s former towpath.

To organize a Canal Clean Sweep event, or to find an existing event and become a volunteer, visit the event finder map at  For more information, contact Catherine Lamberson of Parks & Trails New York at or (518) 434-1583.

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