Tonawanda News — Residents in 18 different counties will turn out this weekend for the 8th Annual Canal Clean Sweep, aimed at preparing the entire length of the Erie Canal for the tourism and warm-weather season.
Two cleaning events are scheduled for Saturday in both North Tonawanda and the City of Tonawanda, and the organizations sponsoring the event — the state Canal Corporation, Parks and Trails New York and the Environmental Facilities Corporation — are asking residents to do their part in beautifying the area.
The Niawanda Park Riverfront Clean Up event will take place Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Those who want to help should meet City of Tonawanda officials and the Niagara Riverkeepers at Niawanda Park at the Kohler Street park entrance. Volunteers will be picking up debris and garbage from the banks of the Niagara River.
City of Tonawanda officials will also be cleaning up Gateway Harbor Park, and those who want to help should meet at the Long Homestead Bridge in the park. All volunteers who want to help picking up litter are welcome.
Volunteers on the north side of the canal should meet at 9 a.m.  in Mayor’s Park on Sweeney Street. Mayor Rob Ortt said will power is the only thing necessary — tools and supplies will be provided to volunteers.
Brian Stratton, director of the Canal Corporation, said the event is a way for residents to take ownership of their hometowns.
“The Canal Clean Sweep is a great way for community groups and individuals to show their pride in our magnificent Canalway Trail system by pitching in with their neighbors,” he said.