Indiana, Pa. – Oct. 16 – The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is now seeking 2018 grant applications for the Canoe Access Development Fund, which supports projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways.

WPC’s Canoe Access Development Fund helps make the region’s rivers and streams more accessible for outdoor recreation by providing grants to watershed organizations or other community groups to develop rustic access sites for canoers and kayakers. Currently, 45 CADF-supported projects are completed and open to the public.

“When we started canoeing, access to some of the streams in Western Pennsylvania involved pushing though poison ivy and sliding down steep slopes,” said Roy Weil, co-founder of the fund. “We established the CADF with the Conservancy to create and improve primitive walk-in access sites. The Conservancy is doing this by working with local organizations to build public accesses in our region’s cities and towns. We hope that making it easier for people to canoe the streams will get them involved in preserving the great natural heritage of the area.”

Proposed new access sites should be located along a stream or river featured in “Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia” (located online at, a similar guidebook or resource, or be recognized as a paddling waterway in Western Pennsylvania.

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 in multiple ways, including stabilizing access areas to rivers or streams, adding nearby parking areas or purchasing riverside access.

“Thanks to this fund, we have assisted organizations with more than 45 projects over the past seven years,” said Eli Long, a watershed manager and the fund’s coordinator at the Conservancy. “It’s great to see these groups planning and creating new paddling trips for the public by connecting other funded access sites.”

An online application, including a complete list of requirements, is available at Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 17, 2017 and grant recipients will be notified by Dec. 15, 2017.

Questions concerning the Canoe Access Development Fund may be directed to Eli Long at WPC’s Watershed Conservation office at or 724-471-7202, ext. 5105.

  • Photos are available for media use courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: and
  • The Conservancy created suggested paddling trips for novice and experienced paddlers along local rivers and streams that utilize CADF sites. These sites are open to the public and free to use.
  • Media representatives may also contact the WPC Communications Department for names of past grant recipients for additional information on their specific projects and how the Canoe Access Development Fund grant process benefited their organizations.

About the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy:
The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) protects and restores exceptional places. A private nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, WPC has helped to establish ten state parks, conserved more than 255,000 acres of natural lands and protected or restored more than 3,000 miles of rivers and streams. The Conservancy owns and operates Fallingwater, which symbolizes people living in harmony with nature. In addition, WPC enriches our region’s cities and towns through 132 community gardens and other green spaces that are planted with the help of about 12,000 volunteers. The work of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is accomplished through the support of more than 10,000 members. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Carmen Bray
Director of Communications
412-586-2358 (office)