Lend a hand for historic Lockport

Volunteer lock tenders help visitors relive history at the partly restored Flight of Five locks on the Erie Canal, inviting the visitors to help push the wooden balance beams that open the lock gates. (Contributed image) 

From cleaning it up to flowering it up to helping the thousands of people who visit Lockport each year enjoy the hands-on experience of operating the original Flight of Five locks on the Erie Canal, volunteers are at the core of organizations like the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.

Locks Heritage chairman David Kinyon said his group, which oversees operation of the restored locks, the Locks District Museum and Locks District tours, all in the area around Erie Barge Canal Locks 34 and 35, is seeking additional volunteers to serve in the upcoming visitor season.

Volunteers are needed from roughly June through October to be lock tenders, canal ambassadors and guides, tour docents, chaperones and re-enactors, and flower tenders.

For the next few weeks, Locks District Volunteer Information Booths will be set up at the entrance to Tops market on South Transit Road and at Buffalo Niagara YMCA on Snyder Drive, offering take-away information on  opportunities.

“We look forward to offering a full range of events and activities in the Locks District this season,” Kinyon said. “Our volunteer flower tenders have already begun work to beautify flower beds in the Lockport Locks and on Canal Street, and our popular weekday Lock Tender Tours and Saturday locks demonstrations will begin in July.”

Among primary events scheduled in the locks district this year are the annual Key to the Locks Award ceremony on May 22 and dedication of Phase 2 of the Lock Tenders Tribute Monument on July 3. Other events involving the district include Lockport In Bloom (July 9-11), Cycling the Erie Canal (which is scheduled to come through Lockport on July 11) and Locktoberfest 2021 on Oct. 2.

Locks Heritage District Corporation is a subsidiary of Greater Lockport Development Corporation that works closely with the Niagara County Historical Society, Lockport Main Street Inc. and other not-for-profit organizations that contribute to the vitality of the Lockport Locks district.

For more information about volunteering, contact Kinyon at davidkinyonlkpt@gmail.com.

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