The Ohio & Erie Canalway Association (OECA) will award $363,000 in Strategic Initiative funds to 14 organizations for projects and programs within the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area.
The OECA Strategic Initiative Program is a competitive grant program that funds public and private organizations and political subdivisions for physical developments, plans, improvements and programs that enhance the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area, which extends 110-miles from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, OH.
Dan Rice, President & CEO of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and Co-Executive Director of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association, said "Over the course of 20 years, the Strategic Initiative Program has been one of our most valuable tools to work with partners to develop the Canalway as both a visitor attraction and something that people use every day."
A diverse array of projects will receive funding in 2016 including: a new power car for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad; plans for a new visitor center in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park; trail enhancements in Cleveland and the Village of Bolivar; and interpretive exhibits in the Cleveland History Center, Mustill Store and Zoar Village.
Tim Donovan, Executive Director of Canalway Partners and Co-Executive Director of the Ohio & Erie Canalway Association, stated "The Strategic Initiative Program provides seed funding for a variety of projects and programs that are deemed essential in the development of the Ohio & Erie Canalway as defined in our Management Plan. These federal funds act as "the yeast" that raises the "dough," leveraging more than $3 local dollars for every federal dollar awarded."
The Ohio & Erie Canalway Association is the 501(c)(3) non-profit designated by the U.S. Congress as the management entity for the
Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area
. The Association operates as a regional extension of its two Founding Organizations, Canalway Partners and the
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition
which represent Cuyahoga County and Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties respectively.