Support: How we help

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Parks & Trails New York is committed to helping communities and volunteer groups across New York enhance, expand and promote their local parks and trails by providing targeted technical assistance, groundbreaking reports, critical information on resources, including funding sources, and direct funding for capacity building.

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Growing the Grassroots Capacity-Building Grants

Supporting local park and trail projects and groups

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Our Growing the Grassroots Capacity-Building Grants enhance the long-term sustainability of park and trail organizations by helping them improve their reach, effectiveness, and impact; leverage resources; and increase community support.

Since 2009, we have assisted 59 park and trail organizations in 36 counties through the program.

Our commitment to the outdoors includes supporting the work of the dedicated Friends groups that maintain and enhance New York’s magnificent system of state parks and historic sites. We organize parks Friends groups and other park supporters into a broad-based, effective force for New York’s parks.

Our support for these groups includes capacity building, providing resources, and hosting I Love My Park Day, an annual statewide event that boosts volunteerism and raises the visibility of the entire state parks systems and its needs.

PTNY’s targeted technical assistance and small grants have helped more than 40 communities develop over 260 miles of multi-use trail across New York as part of our decade-long Healthy Trails, Healthy People program funded by the NYS Department of Health. Our assistance includes resolving technical issues, promotion, programming, organizational development, public outreach, planning, and other activities critical to the long-term success of trail projects. We have also provided guidance and training to local communities working to develop trails that are universally accessible.

Creating the longest multi-use trail in the nation

PTNY, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation and Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, is working to Close the Gaps in the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail between Buffalo and Albany. The Trail is now more than three-quarters complete. We assist the volunteer Canalway Trails Association New York (CTANY), a coordinated group of representatives along the 524-mile Canalway Trail System, and work with communities to plan and develop unfinished trail segments. Our Bicyclists Bring Business roundtables and handbook help communities attract and profit from cycling tourists.

Check out our Cycle the Erie website for more information on the Erie Canalway Trail.