NNYCF matching up to $20,000 in donations for Canton park, fountain
Monday, April 16, 2018 - 2:46 pm

CANTON -- The Canton community park and fountain restoration project has received a boost from the Northern New York Community Foundation in the form of a grant to match other contributions up to a total of $20,000, and $10,000 to establish a permanent fund for upkeep.

The grant is awarded is a $10,000 matching challenge grant offered to build community campaign support for the next phase of the restoration project. The foundation will match all gifts made as part of the second phase, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000.

The second piece of funding is a $10,000 grant to establish a permanent endowment fund at the Community Foundation for future upkeep, maintenance and enhancements related to the project. This charitable fund helps create a stable source of funding to maintain the refurbished park in perpetuity, the foundation said in a press release.

Citizens, organizations and businesses in and around the Village of Canton have demonstrated tremendous support for preserving and restoring the treasured community feature, the foundation statement says, and they hope to play a role in creating a second wave of community support by offering a matching opportunity for the remaining phases.

“Because of generous Community Foundation donors from across the region and St. Lawrence County, we are able to make grants for things that make our communities better places to live, work and grow,” said Rande Richardson, foundation director. “We are committed to helping move the next phase forward and also provide long-term support for maintaining the improvements,” he said.

Since 2016, community members from First Presbyterian Church in Canton and Village representatives have started the execution of a three-phase plan to restore the village park on Main Street in Canton. The land was donated for the park in the 1840s, and over time, became recognized as a historic district on the National Register in 1975. The park is owned by the church and maintained by the village.

The three phases of restoration include structural improvements to the fountain, removal and planting of trees in the park footprint, and installing new stone pavers.

The park is the symbolic center of the community and hosts a variety of year-round community activities and events.

Recently, the project committee successfully reached a fundraising milestone, reaching $104,000 raised through February. This will help the project’s first phase get under way this spring. They expect work to continue on the project through next year, according to the foundation.

The Northern New York Community Foundation makes grants to support the work of non-profit organizations and provides scholarships to individuals in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, and Lewis counties.