Ohio and Erie Canalway Coalition
History and Overview
Established in 1989, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition (OECC) is a private, non-profit organization working to develop the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail and National Heritage Area in Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas Counties. The OECC provides educational programs, events, and publications about the Canalway, while developing strong working relationships with partners to preserve and interpret the natural, historical and recreational resources throughout the area.
The Ohio & Erie Canal opened up the Ohio frontier for settlement and provided settlers with a reliable form of transportation to ship products. This unique waterway is being rediscovered as communities seek to celebrate their heritage while stimulating community & economic development. Today, there is renewed interest in the preservation, development, and interpretation of the Ohio & Erie Canal’s resources.
Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition shall stimulate public interest and support for the protection, preservation, development and enhancement of the historical, natural and recreational resources along the route of the Ohio & Erie Canal.
The OECC shall encourage local, regional and nationwide recognition of the Ohio & Erie Canalway National Heritage Area:
Coordinating and representing the interests of the citizens, corporate community and government agencies in Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.
Working toward establishing a continuous physical link along or near the planned Canalway.
Encouraging and assisting the development of compatible economic ventures throughout the Ohio & Erie Canalway.
Developing strong working relationships with partners to preserve and interpret the natural, recreational and historic resources throughout the Canalway.
Incorporating the needs of the local community into the Canalway plan through meetings with government and business leaders to enhance the quality of life along the Canalway.
Promoting and developing educational programs which interpret the natural, historical and recreational resources along the Canalway.
As a non-profit, we work with community, government and corporate business leaders in Cuyahoga, Summit, Stark and Tuscarawas counties to develop economic opportunities throughout the National Heritage Area. We have created collaborative relationships with elected officials, community leaders, park districts, local businesses, and volunteers. We work closely with these partners to develop trail plans, encourage community engagement, and maintain the Towpath Trail.
In an effort to truly activate the Ohio & Erie Canalway, the OECC also hosts many educational programs including the Cargill Bluegill Fishing Derby, Canoe Adventure, Tour Du Towpath, the Goodyear Towpath Trek, Canal Clean Ups, and Healthy Steps. These events are designed to educate children and adults on the historical, recreational and educational resources along the Ohio & Erie Canalway, while often supporting the work that still needs to be done.