Spring (Cleaning) in the Air

Help Parks & Trails New York and the NYS Canal Corporation celebrate Earth Day by registering your event for the 12th annual Canal Clean Sweep. This year's event, scheduled for Earth Day weekend, April 21-23, 2017, has added significance as it marks the start of the first year of the Erie Canal's Bicentennial Celebration.

For more than a decade, PTNY and the NYS Canal Corporation have celebrated Earth Day by hosting Canal Clean Sweep cleanup and beautification events in communities along the 524-mile Canal System. Whether it’s picking up litter in a local park or trimming brush from a section of Canalway Trail, Clean Sweep gives volunteers an opportunity to enhance treasured community spaces while working hand-in-hand with neighbors and local officials.


Canal Clean Sweep's impact and visibility have increased tremendously over the past decade, growing from 30 Canalside clean-ups in 2005 to over 100 events and 3000 volunteers in 2016. With events stretching across Upstate New York, Canal Clean Sweep is now one of the State's largest Earth Day celebrations. Clean Sweep’s popularity shows that volunteerism is alive and well across the state.

2016 was a great year for Clean Sweep, but we think 2017 will be even better, as Clean Sweepers this year will be preparing the Canal and Canalway Trail for not only the summer navigation season, but the first year of the Erie Canal's bicentennial celebration. Clean Sweep will kick off a whole year of great events that highlight the Canal's enduring importance.


Like Clean Sweepers before them, last year's volunteers found all sorts of interesting and unusual debris while sprucing up their local Canal park or trail segment. But the real reason they come out is to give back to their local community, and to show appreciation for the Canal and Canalway Trail as a great recreational and cultural asset.

Event & Volunteer Registration Open Now


Event registration for this year's Sweep is now open. Event organizers submit details of their Sweep through the online registration, and then we post those details to the Event Finder Map.

An improved volunteer registration is also open now. If organizers choose to open their events to public participation, volunteers can find the event on the map, then register to join the event by clicking the "Volunteer for an Existing Event" button. The event organizer will receive notification each time someone signs up.

Here's to another great year of Canal Clean Sweep, and 200 more years on the Erie Canal. Join us and we’ll see what else we find!