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New pavilion makes it easier to canoe, kayak on Onondaga Creek

A creek surrounded by grass and trees.
John Smith
The Onondaga Creek at Meachem Field.

Onondaga County residents now have easier access to a creek that stretches dozens of miles through the region.

Local officials this week debuted a new pavilion and outlook at Syracuse's Meachem Field that grants entry to the once inaccessible Onondaga Creek. Visitors to the waterway, which flows from Tully through downtown before emptying into Onondaga Lake, were previously forced to be creative to access to the creek.

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh joked at a launch event Friday that visitors used to have to jump over a fence to gain access, but now they can stroll through the entrance to paddle out on a canoe or kayak, like he has done.

"This is just the latest example of ways in which we’re trying to re-orient the community and re-engage with the creek," Walsh said.

Walsh pointed to earlier projects, such as the Onondaga Creekwalk.

The $505,000 project at Meachemeachamm was funded with $30,000 city funds from the American Rescue Plan Act, and a $475,000 state grant.

Also this week, Syracuse Common Councilors took action on a proposal to develop canoe access utilizing state land in Syracuse’s Inner Harbor.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.