As we close out 2023, we would like to thank our amazing partners for all of their hard work and support this past year in celebrating the 175th anniversary of the I&M Canal. We look forward to even more exciting collaborations in the coming year! If you would like to contribute to the mission of the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Area, please consider making a donation >

Our steadfast boat crew toasting with our 175th anniversary beer: Locks, Docks, & Mules by Obscurity Brewing.
The Heritage Corridor Destinations Canal Towns Visitor Guide, featuring articles written by Canal Corridor Association staff.

Thank You For The Promotions!

175th anniversary light pole banners on street lamps on 135th Street in Romeoville, Illinois.
175th anniversary banners displayed outside of the LaSalle County Historical Museum in Utica, Illinois.

Thank You For The Events!

Abraham Lincoln visiting our new Lemont office.
A wood carving demonstration at Ottawa's Canal Days Festival.

Thank You For The Projects!

  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources – replacing the Nettle Creek Aqueduct and therefore reconnecting the I&M Canal State Trail after 10 years
  • Village of Romeoville, City of Lockport, Forest Preserve District of Will County, and CITGO – Working on a trail connection that will link the 3.26 mile Centennial Trail and the 11 mile I&M Canal Trail
  • The Authors, including Ronald Scott Vasile, Eileen McMahon, Mark Walczynski, Michele Micetich and Mark Matejka – Contributed to the I&M Canal Stories which are being published on Substack and to Britnee Eccles for editing the stories, narrating them, creating audio files (you can listen to them!) and posting. Find them here
  • Midewin Tallgrass Prairie – Developing an I&M Canal Exhibit with artifacts from the Illinois State Museum
  • City of Wilmington and the IMCNHA Cookbook Committee – Compiling historic recipes and other food-related information
  • All the people that joined us at our annual Canal Alliance Congress – Brainstorming and planning events, activities and promotions for the I&M Canal’s 175th Anniversary
  • Moe the Mule and his friends Nick vanDrielen, Ryan Barrett, Carter McLaughlin, Choice Phillips, and Pieter vanDrielen – Powering the I&M Canal Boat down and up the canal 254 times during the 2023 season
  • And thank you to the rest of Canal Corridor Association staff and board: Ana Koval, Britnee Eccles, Susan Roy, Michele Micetich, Cyndi Valencia, Cricket Trutter-Hauff – Working so many weekends and/or extra hours to provide memorable experiences to visitors from all over the state, country and world
2023 Canal Alliance Congress attendees touring the Four Rivers Environmental Education Center.
A reenactment of the Jolliet and Marquette voyage at Ottawa's Canal Days Festival.
Illinois Humanities Road Scholar Kim Sigafus discussing the importance of Native American Women in Illinois History during her presentation at the Lock 16 Visitor Center in LaSalle.
St. James at Sag Bride hosting a special mass led by Pere Jacques Marquette, S.J., (portrayed by Fr. Thomas Koys), in honor of the I&M Canal's 175th Anniversary.