What's New in the Summer of 2017

It's not to late the join the invasion!

Due to a few cancellations, there is still room to register for the Pathways to Invasion Conference at Fort Ticonderoga on July 12-14th. It is mostly free to all educators and lovers of history and geography in New York State. Members of our sister alliances in Vermont, New Hampshire, Massacusetts, and Canada are also very welcome! We will be investigating the geography, the history, and the environment around America's Fort, including a boat cruise on Lake Champlain. There will also be musket and cannon demonstrations and a tour of the fort museum, led by Richard Strum, the fort's educator. 

Visit the Events Section to learn more and register online. 



The New York Geographic Alliance wishes the Erie Canal a Happy 200th Birthday. On July 4, 1817 a ceremony was held just outside Rome, NY to officially begin digging "Clinton's Ditch." It was take nearly eight years to complete this incredible engineering project. It was a modest waterway - only four feet deep. But it changed America and it made New York the "Empire State." It was successful because of New York's special geography. 

The NYGA has many resources to help you learn more about the Erie Canal, both past and present. Many of them can be downloaded for free from the Resource Page. There are also three published resources that you can order by contacting the NYGA office or by emailing Tim McDonnell. They include the Atlas of New York: Legacies of the Erie Canal, the Erie Canal Module for Grades 4/5, and the Lessons for the Atlas of New York (Grades 7/8). They are free of cost to educators in New York State. 

Of course, you cannot appreciate the Erie Canal unless you get out to see it. You can visit all the working locks on the "Barge Canal". (Yes, the canal is open for business.) You can hike or bike the trails along the canal. But don't forget about the historic sites on the canalway. There are many old locks and aqueducts that are easily accessible from both land and water. There are also many excellent museums that preserve the long legacy of this waterway. Our top three favorites are Camlllus Erie Canal Park, the Erie Canal Museum, and the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum. They are all in Central New York. If you are traveling the NYS Thruway, stop at the Erie Canal Heritage Park between Exits 40 and 41. And the New York State Museum in Albany has a new exhibit on display on the Erie Canal. 


Three must stops along the Old Erie Canal: Erie Canal Museum in Syracuse, the Nine Mile Creek Aqueduct in Camillus, and the Chittenango Landing Canal Book Museum (featuring Grandma O'Brien)

If you want to find out more about celebrations during the Erie Canal Bicentennial, visit the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor website. Get out an explore!


The Chemung Celebration Conference - Get Wet!

The B-WET Upper Susquehanna Project is still active, and we will be visiting Elmira to study the Chemung River on August 11, 2017. This special PD will be a combination of indoor activities at the GST BOCES Teacher Center, and field activities on the Chemung River in West Elmira, led by Jim Pfiffer of the Friends of the Chemung. We especially encourage teachers from the Susquehanna Watershed to register, but we will accept educators from other parts of the state as well. There is no charge for this workshop. Learn how you can be a partner with NYGA and receive many valuable resources for teaching about waterheds. 

Visit the Events Page to learn more. It also has information on how to register through GST BOCES. 

The Chemung River at sunset (photo by Jim Pfiffer)