Walnutport Canal Association members are looking forward to accomplishing several major projects.

Everyone is aware of the damage to the canal caused by Hurricane Irene. The entrance to Lock #23 was destroyed and the canal was filled with silt (washed in ground).

Preservation Pennsylvania, an organization dedicated to the protection of historically and architecturally significant properties in Pennsylvania, has included Lock #23 on its 2011-2012 Pennsylvania At Risk list, a listing of 10 most endangered historic resources.

The report can be accessed at www.preservationpa.org. Under Upcoming Events click PA at Risk 2011, then click the link. The latest newsletter is available there. The report features a photo of the damaged lock on the cover, and a full page article with photos on page 5.

The engineering firm of Spotts, Stevens & McCoy has estimated repair costs at approximately $400,000. Officials from the Borough of Walnutport, the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the Walnutport Canal Association (WCA) have met with the Federal, State and County Emergency Management Agencies to try to obtain funding to properly make repairs.

Walnutport submitted a grant application to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for funding from the Local Share Account of gaming receipts, and was recently awarded a $200,000 grant from funds allocated from Mount Airy Casino. The WCA thanked state Rep. Julie Harhart for her assistance in securing these funds.

In addition, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has awarded the WCA $3,000. The WCA has received $1,322.50 in donations from individuals, and has allocated $3,000 toward the repairs.

Meetings are still being held with the emergency management agencies, and hopefully some funding will be available from those sources. Repair work will be done this year, but how much depends upon the money available.

At the February meeting of the WCA, a decision was made to add a 20-foot by 40-foot addition to the existing storage building. The total measurements of this building will then be 56 feet by 40 feet. The building will house an office, archives storage, a small museum and equipment. Construction is expected to be done this summer and cost approximately $31,000. The WCA will be able to centralize all of its items and records.

The WCA is constantly working to improve the property that it oversees and to educate the public about the canal area and its history. Those who enjoy the outdoors should find time to walk the canal towpath and enjoy the natural scenery.