Resources & Funding

Genesee River

Basic introduction (Wikipedia)

Better maps and more technical information, see Genesee River Watch (Center for Environmental Initiatives, Rochester, 2014); the Genesee River Conference (Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, 2007), the Genesee River Basin Action Strategy, especially Chapter 2 (Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council, 2004); The State of the New York Lake Ontario Basin, especially relevant section in Chapter 3 (Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance, 2000).  See also Genesee River issues in Makarewicz et al., “Research Summary: Lake Ontario Phosphorus Loading” (Lake Scientist, Jan. 29, 2014); Makarewicz et al., Genesee River Watershed Project, Volume 2 (Upper Genesee River) (SUNY Brockport Digital Commons Technical Reports, 2013);  Lake Ontario Algae Cause and Solution Workshop Proceedings (Monroe County Department of Health, New York Sea Grant, NY Great Lakes Research Consortium, and Water Education Collaborative, 2002).

Plan for blueways (water trails for canoes and kayaks) in region north of Allegany County (Genesee/Finger Lakes Regional Planning Council)

Multi-use trails in Triple Divide Trail System along Genesee River in region in and around Rochester (including Genesee River Trail, Genesee Valley Greenway); see the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park Management Plan (NYS OPRHP, 2013; scroll down on “master plans” website); the “Rochester/Genesee-Finger Lakes, NY“  Case Statement for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; see esp. maps and comments on pp. 7, 10-11.

Greenways Plan on Pennsylvania side of Genesee River (especially Potter County, maps and p. 3-179), see the Greenways Plan for the North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission

Rochester Cycling Alliance and its blog, advocate for bicycling trails along Genesee River and supporter of plans for Rochester-Williamsport greenway system.  Other groups that advocate and build bicycle trails in the area include GROC Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists and Western New York Mountain Bicycling Association. Other groups that sometimes engage in trail advocacy include cycling clubs such as the Rochester Bicycling Club. At the state level in NY, advocacy of bicycling trails is often led by the New York Bicycling Coalition and other parks and trails group mentioned below.

Cyclopedia Rochester, award-winning youth bicycling program that connects Rochester youth to nature via bicycling, including on trail system along Genesee River.

For collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology on Rochester-Williamsport trail system, contact Dr. Jon Schull, Associate Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology,,

Fascinating video documentary on entire Genesee River from the Triple Continental Divide in Potter County, PA, to Rochester, NY (Steve Orr, Max Schulte, and Jeff Blackwell, “Rediscovering the Rambling River,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

News and discussion by Rochester Regional Group, Sierra Club and Rochester Environment

Models for Genesee River Wilds Project in NY and PA

Genesee River in Letchworth State Park (NY)

Lehigh River in Lehigh Gorge State Park (PA)

Pine Creek Gorge (PA), see here and here.  This is our most important model and will be directly connected to the Genesee River conservation and recreational system by the Triple Divide system of greenways, blueways, and nature parks.

Raquette River in Raquette River Corridor (NY)

Seneca River Water Trail (NY)

Expanding in PA and NY, the Susquehanna Greenway. See also Susquehanna River Trail (PA)

Tunungant Creek, Tuna Valley Trail System (Bradford, PA, area)

Recreational Resources in Genesee River Wilds and Neighboring Areas

Allegany State Park (NY)

Allegheny National Forest (PA), here and here

Riverside Parks and Genesee Riverway Trail in Rochester (NY)

Genesee Valley Greenway (NY), now raised in status to Genesee Valley Greenway State Park

Letchworth State Park (NY): See official site, video of whitewater kayaking and more whitewater kayaking, and video of rafting.

Lyman Run State Park (PA)

Pine Creek Gorge (PA), see here and here.

Organizations Active in the Genesee River Wilds

Allegany Trails, P.O. Box 66, Wellsville, NY 14895; contact Bill Dibble at (585) 928-2626 or

Genesee River Wilds, Inc.

Friends of the Genesee Valley Greenway and new park director of Genesee Valley Greenway State Park

Genesee Valley Conservancy

Trout Unlimited, Upper Genesee Chapter, here and here

Grants and Technical Assistance to Help Counties, Townships, Village Offices, Community Organizations, Non-Profit Groups, and Individuals Participate in Genesee River Wilds Project (Lots of Money and Help Available for ANY Relevant Group for the Asking–Not just for Committees of Leading Agencies)

American Rivers, educational literature and information on strategies and funding sources; for example, video on Blueways: Protecting Rivers, Connecting Communities, related materials on Blue Trails, and studies such as the Multiple Benefits of Floodplain Easements and Natural Defenses: Safeguarding Communities from Floods, also Local Water Policy Innovation: A Roadmap for Community Based Stormwater Solutions, also Ecological Riverfront Design: Restoring Rivers, Connecting Communities, et al.

Appalachian Regional Commission (resources for both Allegany County, NY, and Potter County, PA; see especially “Community Infrastructure” page for “Water and Wastewater Infrastructure” and look at “Sources of Funding” for environmental projects and others related to Genesee River)

Federal Highway Administration, especially (!!!) trail funding programs for bicycles, pedestrians, and recreation; e.g., can provide up to 80% of funds for greenway trail for bicycles, hiking, and other environmentally sustainable recreation

FEMA National Flood Insurance Program, Floodplain Management (provides financial benefits to communities that enact zoning and other policies that direct construction and development away from floodplain)

Finger Lakes-Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance (logistical support and funding for projects along Genesee River in NY, usually managed by county soil and water conservation districts)

FishAmerica Foundation, Grants for Sportfish Habitat Restoration (Brook Trout, etc.)

EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (Federal program with MANY grants applicable to upper Genesee River, such as stream bank erosion projects, habitat restoration for brook trout and wildlife, incentives for farmers and other landowners along the river, and other grants designed to address streams and rivers that empty into Lake Ontario and other Great Lakes; recommended to contact EPA and relevant state conservation agency before applying for a grant to see how your proposal fits with other collaborating state and regional agencies).  Note the information and contacts related to the Rochester Embayment Area of Concern on Lake Ontario.  Many Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds are distributed through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Genesee Valley Conservancy, P.O. Box 7, Geneseo, NY 14454,  Phone: (585) 243-2190  (expertise with conservation easements, farmland management for conservation, acquisition and protection of donated lands, operating as liaison with New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Genesee River Wilds, and other agencies and non-profit groups involved in conservation in Genesee River watershed)

National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program (funding, technical assistance, planning, and educational literature)

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (grants and collaboration in NY, both state and regional offices; e.g., Open Space funding; note especially the grants page, including Great Lakes Protection Fund for Genesee River’s impact on Lake Ontario)

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (grants and collaboration in NY, both state and regional offices; e.g., provides 50-75% of funds for purchase and development of land along Genesee River or tributary creek for environmentally sustainable county park or municipal park).  Note especially the information on grants and references to the Genesee Valley Greenway, Triple Divide Trail System, and Triple Divide Water Trail in the 2010 Statewide Trails Plan, especially pp. 14, 41, and maps in Figure 1 (Greenway Trails Network) and Figure 4 (Water Trails Network).

North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission, for work on greenways and trails in Potter County and other counties in this region in PA

Parks and Trails New York, especially its helpful List of Grants and Other Funding Sources

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (grants and collaboration in PA, both state and regional offices)

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (grants and collaboration in PA, both state and regional offices)

Smart Growth grants (sustainable parks, greenways, trails, walkable communities, riverfront restoration, etc.): grants from USDOT TIGER program; other grants announced by the Smart Growth Network

Sustain Our Great Lakes, grants related to Genesee River watershed as major tributary to Lake Ontario

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (maps, technical assistance, grants, educational literature, research on economic and other implications, and other sources related to trail system along Genesee River)

Trout Unlimited, programs and grants for education, watershed restoration, and habitat in cold-water trout streams and rivers (see their website for “Trout in the Classroom,” “Eastern Conservation,” “Watershed Restoration,” and others)

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, grants and other assistance providing financial incentives to farmers and agricultural programs for nutrient reduction in river systems, limiting livestock access to streams, and other projects; e.g., EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentives Program), which can share 75-90% of costs; see also USDA Forest Service, WHIP (Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program), FRPP (Farm and Ranchlands Protection Program), WRP (Wetlands Reserve Program).

US Fish and Wildlife Service, especially the grants page.

Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (grants and assistance for preserving land and developing recreational infrastructure in PA along Genesee River, Pine Creek, and interstate trail route in between; e.g., see conservancy’s Canoe Access Development Fund or Land and Water)

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