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21st Century Park: Call to Action

Momentum is gaining for a group that is proposing a new 21st Century Park at the Outer Harbor (see history). Earlier today, members of the 21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor, along with a number of influential supporters hosted a press conference at the Bell Slip in order to present an “imaginative” rendering that shows an Olmstedian blue print for much of the fallow land at the Outer Harbor. “It is our understanding that Gallagher Beach and the Small Boat Harbor will become part of the State park system,” said Joan Bozer, Co-Chair of the 21st Century group. “We’re pleased with this development and we hope that this is just the start. Approximately 130 acres of public space is now owned by the NFTA, which it has been reported will be turned over to the ECHDC – something that would be conducive to additional land becoming a State or even a National Park. This land is part of an international border, and part of the Niagara River Greenway. It should be a world class destination. Olmsted’s vision was to connect the city to Lake Erie… this is part of a much bigger plan. We have been busy creating a series of smaller parks, and now it’s time to think big! This is about quality of life, and the importance of being connected to our waterfront. People are finally beginning to understand the importance of our waterways. This is a huge opportunity knocking.”

Some of the developments that proponents of the new park would like to see range from an outdoor amphitheater to restaurants, a promenade… while at the same time making sure that any industrial development is actually beneficial to the water. Click image to enlarge…

The conceptual rendering was created by internationally renowned firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., the firm that designed the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Chelsea Cove at Hudson River Park.  According to the firm, parks are founded on the idea of the commons--democratic, and inclusive open spaces.
The conceptual rendering was created by internationally renowned firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc., the firm that designed the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Chelsea Cove at Hudson River Park. According to the firm, parks are founded on the idea of the commons–democratic, and inclusive open spaces.

Joanne Kahn, Chairperson of “21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor” group stated, “For generations, our residents have been cut off from our Great Lakes and waterfront, this is our community’s chance to embrace and reconnect to the water, a vision shared by Frederick Law Olmsted back in1888”. Kahn continued, “The goal of releasing this image is to allow the public to begin to visualize an alternate future for the Outer Harbor, and respond to Governor Cuomo’s call for public input into waterfront redevelopment”.

The Regional Economic Development Council’s Plan for Prosperity recognizes the economic value of enhancing public access to waterfront areas: “Providing, protecting and improving public access to waterfront areas can enhance quality of life for residents of the region while expanding nature-based tourism.”

“We have spent decades transforming our region from a rust to blue economy and investments we make along the outer harbor will symbolize whether or not we build on our ability to restore access to our greatest nature asset, fresh water” said Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. “To ensure we have the greatest return on investment, the future of our waterfront must be defined with significant input from the community on standards of excellence for redevelopment that enhance and protect our public trust resources in accordance to the goals for water in the Plan for Prosperity.”

Officials invited to speak at today’s event included:

Joanne Kahn, Chair person of 21st Century Park on the Outer Harbor
Jill Jedlicka, Ex. Dir. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
Congressman Brian Higgins
Senator Mark Grisanti, Chairman Environmental Conservation Committee
Assemblyman Sean Ryan

The following is posted by Riverkeeper:

We are encouraging a grassroots voice for the Park on the Outer Harbor:

Post on your Facebook wall: “I support the efforts to create a world class, sustainable, and significant waterfront park on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor.”

Tweet on Twitter: “I support the efforts for a world class & sustainable #OuterHarborPark through community driven process. #GottaHavePark”

(#GottaHavePark or #OuterHarborPark)

Link to website: 21stcenturypark.org

Join our mailing list: 21stCenturyPark@gmail.com

 

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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