It required a workforce in the thousands to hand dig the original Erie Canal (1817-25). Today, over 125 dedicated volunteers, including Lock Tenders, Boat Tenders, Guides, Tour Leaders, Canal Ambassadors, Reenactors and Canal Clean Up & Beautification Team members transform the largest extant section of the Enlarged Erie Canal and the surrounding Locks District into a dynamic, living history experience yearly for thousands of visitors to the Lockport Locks.
When the State of New York authorized the construction of the Erie Barge Canal, Lockport was fortunate that only one of the two flights of five locks from the 19th Century was demolished in order to make room for the much larger and deeper Barge Canal Locks. The rehabilitation of the Erie Canal Flight of Five Locks has ignited a passion among Lockport citizens to make the Lockport Locks Heritage District a world-class heritage tourism attraction that complements the other outstanding architectural and cultural sites in Western New York.
Lockport area residents are invited to join the ranks of the Erie Canal Flight of Five volunteer workforce. Simply complete and submit the Erie Canal Flight of Five Volunteer Sign-Up Form to become part of our organization.
Lock Tenders demonstrate for visitors the manual operation of the wooden lock gates of Locks 68, 69 and 70 in the Flight of Five, as well as lock through our docent vessel, the Erie Traveler. Locks Demonstrations take place every Saturday from 11 AM – 1 PM, July 2 through October 1.
Locks District Guides greet visitors to the Locks District on Saturdays from 11 AM – 1 PM in conjunction with the Locks Demonstrations. Guides lead visitors to points of interest in the Locks area and provide information regarding the history of the Erie Canal and the Lockport Locks. Guides also direct visitors to the Locks District Museum and the Erie Canal Discovery Center as well as to related sources of information to enhance the quality of their visit to Lockport and the Lockport Locks.
Tour Docents lead the Flight of Five Lock Tender Tour, a 45 minute narrated walking tour of the Locks District, Monday through Friday at 11 AM, July 1 thru
Chaperones welcome visitors to the Flight of Five Lock Tender Tour, sign in all visitors and assist Tour Docents in the conduct of the Tour as well as assure the safety of visitors on the Tour.
Canal Ambassadors staff the Locks District Booth on Canal Street on Saturdays from 9 AM – 2 PM during the period from July 2 – October 1. Canal Ambassadors provide information regarding Lockport’s Erie Canal attractions, encourage visitors to view the Saturday Locks Demonstrations and offer Locks District merchandise for sale.
Flower Tenders plant and care for the flowers and landscape beds in the Locks District. In addition, Flower Tenders assist with weed control, trimming and litter control.
Training and scheduling of Locks District Volunteers is provided by volunteer leaders of the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.
Upon the submission of a Locks District Volunteer Application, a representative from our organization will contact you shortly to discuss with you your area of interest as a
Locks District Volunteer.