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American Society of Landscape Architects


January 2005 Issue

From Barge Canal to Heritage Corridor
A new park adds to links in the historic Erie Canal.

By Suzanne McDaniel VanDeMark

"Welcome to Canalfest," said Mayor Alice Roth of Tonawanda, New York. "You might not be able to see the park very well."

© 2001 James Cavanaugh

When I saw all the activity on this section of the historic Erie Canal, I realized Roth was right. I had come to tour the newly completed Tonawandas Gateway Harbor Park with Roth during its busiest time, mid-July's Canalfest. This annual festival has been a tradition in the twin cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, both near Buffalo, for over 20 years, but this was a day to enjoy the canal for its new distinction: part of a recreationway. Gateway Harbor Park is part of a new corridor of more than 30 parks linking the Erie Canal and the towns connected to it. On that sunny July day, it swarmed with boaters and other festivalgoers.

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