Spring (Cleaning) is in the Air

Spring is truly in the air, and in upstate New York that means crowds of walkers, joggers, hikers, and bikers returning to their favorite sections of the Canalway Trail. But before they do, a little spring cleaning is in order.

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.

This year's Sweep is fast approaching, with most events scheduled for Earth Day weekend, April 26-28.

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 an estimated 3000 annual volunteers. 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.


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.

Volunteer at a Clean Sweep Event Near You


Volunteer registration for this year's Sweep is open now. Just find an event near you on the Event Finder Map, and then register to show up on the day of the clean up.

Here's to another great year of Canal Clean Sweep! Join us and we’ll see what else we find!