Education, history, and the environment have been Corn Hill Navigation’s focus since its beginnings in 1991. Ted Curtis founded the organization to draw attention not only to the history but also the need to improve the environmental quality of the Genesee River and Erie Canal. For 20 years, the Sam Patch has been an iconic part of the Schoen Place and Pittsford Village experience. Thanks to the community’s generous support, more than 14,000 persons thrilled to the history and natural beauty of the Genesee River and the Eighth Wonder of the World that is the Erie Canal in 2018. As they strolled the banks of the canal, thousands more were treated to the rare opportunity of watching a functioning, replica Erie Canal packet boat in action.
Our education cruises make it possible for school children to navigate a canal lock, spot a blue heron, or discover the fascinating unseen microscopic life inhabiting our waterways. In 2018, the community’s support helped expand our educational programs with the addition of a new hands-on Environmental Education on the Erie Canal curriculum, dubbed E3C. Sam was transformed into a floating science lab! Supported in part by funding from the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor and the Farash Foundation, City School District students from 5th to 12th grade investigated canal water quality and aquatic ecology, and measured the effects of pollution and other human activities on the canal.