Stewardship of the Canal’s history, celebrating its past, present and future – troyrecord

I had the pleasure of receiving an award last month (given in January but done virtually at the time thanks to the then ongoing COVID crisis) that is very special to me.

Ten years ago we embarked on the stabilization and maintenance project for the historic Lock 19 at Vischer Ferry, and it has remained in good condition ever since. Too often grants are awarded and people win prizes for projects that cease to be supported when the money runs out and they are not very interesting a decade later. Not so this one. Our ongoing management and upkeep has kept this site clean, safe and accessible to the public.

Historic Lock 19 is one of the main attractions of the Vischer Ferry Nature Reserve, and other projects such as path and bridge improvements have taken place in the years since. Some 80 children from Shen helped us with the original restoration project in 2012-2013, and some of them are now real engineers. Over the years, we have received help from large corporations, church groups, boy scouts and scouts, and even the United States Navy!

This year’s sponsor was LaBella Associates Engineering.

“As a history-loving civil engineer, it is an honor for me and LaBella Associates to help the South Saratoga County Chamber clean up Lock 19,” said Reuben Hull of LaBella, Chief of the company’s team of volunteers. “Management of our historic infrastructure, such as the original and current Erie Canal system, is central to appreciating the civil engineering works that built and shaped our villages, our region and our nation.

With a focus on the modern canal system, the Waterford Canal Festival 2022 will take place on 21 and 22 May. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The festival is presented by the South Saratoga County Chamber, the Village of Waterford and the City of Waterford, and supported by the Saratoga County Community Development Program, funded in part by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors.

Major sponsors include Momentive Performance Materials, Twin Bridges Recycling, Stewart’s Shops, MVP Health Care, State Farm – Christina Lloyd Insurance Agency, Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor, Port of Albany and BPI Piping/BPI Mechanical. Free boat rides will be offered by Mohawk Maiden Cruises, Hudson View River Cruises and Solar Sal Boats. A free fishing clinic for kids will be held, courtesy of the Hudson River Anglers Association. Each participating child will receive a $10 gift certificate for the Wiggly Worm Bait Supply in Burnt Hills.

For more information, please visit or email [email protected]

— Pete Bardunias, Senior Vice President, Membership and Community Advancement, Capital Region Chamber

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