The momentum of Peg Overdorf’s RiverFest Park continues with a $250,000 monetary boost allocated from the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Standing Committee*. The city’s grassroots waterfront park has been trudging forward with inspirational advancements including the building of a bandstand and permeable walkways (see post). This is one of those initiatives that sets a precedent for how to build a waterfront. If your ducks are all in a row, and you have the necessary components that it takes to pull off a major success, then there are monies available to turn visions into realities.
Although this park appears to be rising up at the river’s edge almost overnight, the effort to rejuvenate this area has been years in the making. If you’re familiar with Ohio Street, then you know how effective River Fest has been when it comes to destination branding. After all, how many people knew where this part of the river even was before the festival tuned people in to Father Conway Park? How many people had ever kayaked down the Buffalo River before joining in on the fun at the Rigidized River Fest Regatta? For over a decade, Buffalonians have rallied around this historic industrial edge of town. Those years were the building blocks that helped to justify the need for a park. Peg and her crew at the Valley Community Center are building the ([Peg’s] park the right way – they proved that people wanted the park… that they needed the park… and that they would actually use the park.
*The committee receives $2 million a year from NYPA according to the
terms of a 50-year licensing agreement the Authority signed for the
Niagara Power Project in 2007.