CADF site on the Conemaugh River near Tunnelton, PA. Photo used with permission of WPC.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking grant applications for its Canoe Access Development Fund (CADF), which supports projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to Western Pennsylvania’s waterways.

The Conservancy’s CADF provides technical assistance and grants of up to $5,000 for the construction and enhancement of canoe and kayak access locations.

Founded in 2008 by Conservancy donors and outdoor enthusiasts Roy Weil and Mary Shaw, CADF 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. Grant funding could be used to stabilize access areas to rivers or streams, add nearby parking areas, purchase riverside access or for other improvements. Currently, 94 CADF-supported projects are completed and open to the public along 38 different waterways in 24 counties in the region.

CADF site on the Kiski River near East Vandergrift, PA. Photo used with permission of WPC.

Susan Huba, executive director of Loyalhanna Watershed Association in Ligonier, says the organization received one CADF grant in 2011 and one in 2023. The 2023 grant was used to improve and repair features on existing launch access sites on Loyalhanna Creek, at the Loyalhanna Nature Trail, Idlewild Hill Access and Mission Road Access. “These sites are some of the most-used access locations along the creek and are frequented by boaters and anglers alike,” Huba says, noting that traffic at these locations has increased since the improvements were made, and several users have given positive feedback. ”We are grateful for our continued partnership with WPC on efforts to improve the land and waterways within the Loyalhanna Creek watershed and beyond.”

Kelly Horrell, watershed conservation program administrator at the Conservancy, says the fund helps communities thrive along the streams where access points are installed. “Building and improving canoe access points connects communities along Western Pennsylvania’s water trails, encourages recreation and tourism, and allows for a nice day trip or multi-day camping trip,” Kelly notes. “And, it restores and stabilizes the streambank, reducing erosion and sedimentation into the streams.”

How to Apply: A downloadable application, including a complete list of requirements, is available at Applications open October 16 and must be postmarked by November 20, 2023. Grant recipients will be notified by December 18, 2023.

This post adapted from a release by Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

CADF site on Chest Creek near Westover, PA. Photo used with permission of WPC.