In a news conference on December 16, Town of Pittsford Supervisor Bill Smith and Pittsford Village Mayor Bob Corby announced that each municipality had won New York State Regional Economic Council Grant funding for canal-related projects. The Town won $177,250 toward funding for a new Town-Village collaborative public park and preserve along the north side of the Erie Canal near the western Town-Village line and the Village won $50,000 for a Bicentennial Commemorative Pavilion at Schoen Place on the canal.
The new park and preserve’s location, on adjoining Town-owned and Village-owned parcels, had been identified in a 2010 Town study as a site for municipal buildings and residential development. Earlier this year, Supervisor Smith and Mayor Corby met to revisit options for the area. They shared a unified vision for preserving the space instead as a community park and nature preserve.
“Preserving the natural beauty of this unique environment and opening it for the enjoyment of the community represents the best and highest purpose for this land,” Supervisor Smith said. “Plans center on a nature trail through the property, allowing visitors to enjoy the environment of wetland and woods. The nature trail will connect two existing recreational pathways in Pittsford, the Erie Canal Path and the Auburn Trail.”
“It is so rare to have an opportunity to provide a natural open space of this caliber right in the heart of the community,” said Mayor Corby. “We are very fortunate to have such a resource. I’ve received a lot of resident input over the years about the importance of preserving open space. The Town’s park initiative will help us better define the options for the adjoining Village land.”
The Village’s project at Schoen Place will construct an Erie Canal Bicentennial Commemoration Pavilion on the former site of a canal-side gas dock. A shaded seating area on the water, the pavilion will contain information about the canal’s history and the importance of canal revitalization and preservation in Pittsford. “In keeping with preserving the character of the area, the pavilion design reflects the agricultural style of the mill buildings on Schoen Place. Both the park and pavilion projects are finishing touches to canal-area development in Pittsford,” said Mayor Corby. “Being canal-side is such a wonderful experience in Pittsford” added Supervisor Smith. “The new pavilion will be a great place for folks to relax and enjoy the area.”
A preliminary concept plan for the Erie Canal Park and Preserve project has been completed. The Town will next begin work with design and engineering consultants to determine all elements of the project plan and will address additional funding needs for the project. The project design phase is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015 and construction is targeted to begin by the fall of 2015. The park and preserve is expected to open in the spring of 2016.
A concept drawing for the Canal Bicentennial Commemoration Pavilion has been completed. The Village expects project design to be completed by spring of 2015 and construction to be under way by fall of 2015.
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