The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking grant applicants for its Canoe Access Development Fund, which supports projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways.
Founded in 2008 by WPC donors and outdoor enthusiasts Roy Weil and Mary Shaw, WPC’s Canoe Access Development Fund provides grants to watershed organizations and other community groups to make the region’s rivers and streams more accessible for outdoor recreation by developing and improving access sites for canoeists, kayakers and anglers. Currently, 83 CADF-supported projects are completed and open to the public along 34 different waterways in 21 counties.
New access sites proposed for grant funding should be located along a stream or river featured in Weil and Shaw’s “Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia” (located online at canoedraft.shaw-weil.com) or a similar resource, or be recognized as a paddling waterway in Western Pennsylvania.
Jace Marsh, field technician with the Mountain Watershed Association in Fayette County, said his organization received funding from WPC to construct an access to Indian Creek in Indianhead, Pa. in 2021.
“We want to encourage people to appreciate Indian Creek through recreation,” Jace says, noting that the creek is beginner friendly and that the canoe access site complements the Indian Creek Valley Bike Trail. “People can park at trailheads near the access and use it either as a launch or take-out point.”
Volunteers and staff installed a drainage ditch at the parking area, created a new, wide footbridge and cleared a trail to the stream. “We did our best to not disturb the natural environment,” Jace adds.
Qualified grant recipients will receive up to $4,000 per site for the construction and enhancement of canoe and kayak access locations. Grant funding could be used to stabilize access areas to rivers or streams, add nearby parking areas, purchase riverside access or for other improvements.
A downloadable application, including a complete list of requirements, is available at WaterLandLife.org/canoe-access-development-fund-cadf/.
Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2021, and grant recipients will be notified by Jan. 5, 2022.