Pittsburgh, Pa. March 18, 2022 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has funding available to support projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways. The Conservancy provides technical assistance and grants of up to $5,000 through its Canoe Access Development Fund for the construction and enhancement of canoe and kayak access locations. Due to rising costs of materials, the Conservancy increased the amount of individual grants by $1,000 for the current round of funding.

WPC-funded canoe access site on French Creek in Meadville, Pa. 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. 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, 87 CADF-supported projects are completed and open to the public along 37 different waterways in 21 counties.

Eli Long, watershed manager for the Conservancy, says that many would-be applicants are unaware that WPC provides technical assistance for canoe access that “runs the gamut of project development.” He says technical guidance could include helping a group decide on a site location, determining what permits are needed or helping develop those permits. “We can even assist with a site drawing or design to show where a ramp, path or trail to the stream would be situated. This is a key asset used to apply for a permit,” Eli notes.

He says another aspect of technical assistance is considering how a canoe access site should function. “Is it a walking path? What’s the surface made of? We can work within the restrictions of the site and the organization’s goals to find the best fit for the project.”

A downloadable application, including a complete list of requirements, is available here. Applications must be postmarked by May 3, 2022, and grant recipients will be notified by June 3, 2022.


About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) enhances the region by protecting and restoring exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped establish 11 state parks, conserved more than a quarter million acres of natural lands, protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams, and assessed hundreds of wildlife species and their habitats. The Conservancy owns and operates Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List and symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 130 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of more than 5,000 volunteers. The work of the Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 9,000 members. For more information, visit WaterLandLife.org or Fallingwater.org.

Media Contact:
Carmen Bray
Director of Communications
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
412-586-2358 – work