Ten years ago, the Buffalo region was designated the recipient of funding from a settlement agreement with the New York Power Authority (NYPA). As part of the 50-year federal license agreement for the Niagara Power Project in 2007, the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee was awarded a significant settlement. Each year, during the course of the licensed agreement, the Committee receives $2 million, which is to be allocated to various projects along the Buffalo River, the Outer Harbor, and parks running Cazenovia to the City of Tonawanda. The Standing Committee is comprised of one representative from Erie County, The City of Buffalo, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the New York Power Authority.
Since the inception of the agreement, $20 million to been dedicated to 67 project sites. Greenway funds have contributed to the building of bicycle and walking trails, and has significantly helped fund park improvements, events, and canoe, kayak and rowing access.
“The community can see the effects of these awards in the improvements along the Buffalo River, as well in the parks running from South Park in the south to the City of Tonawanda hub in the north. We are proud to see these grant funds making a difference to the betterment of our community.” —Greenway Chairman Alan J. Bozer
On Wednesday, September 20, the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee will be celebrating 10-years of awards to the community. The event will be held at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park-Hangar, 1 Naval Park Cove at 9:30 AM. Following the ceremony, there will be a bus tour to various Greenway funded project sites.
In 2008, the Committee had reviewed and approved for funding the following projects:
- Fisherman’s Landing — Town of Grand Island $400,482
- Shoreline Trail Signage — Erie County $205,000
- Scajaquada Creekside Trail — Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $1,209,875
In 2009, the Committee had reviewed and approved for funding the following projects:
- LaSalle Park – City of Buffalo $654,830
- Park Pavilion – City of Tonawanda $866,970
- Minnow Pools at Riverside Park –Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $305,000
In 2010, the Committee was very active, approving the following 6 new projects which commit $2,444,681 to the establishment of the Niagara River Greenway. The Committee temporarily instituted a 10% holdback policy for projects funded pending further consideration of a permanent policy adopted by the Committee.
- Union Ship Canal — Buffalo Urban Development Corporation $385,000
- Riverside Park Concourse — Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $56,175
- Land Acquisition Study — Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper $100,000
- LaSalle Park Phase 2/ Porter Avenue — City of Buffalo $993,506
- Riverfest Park — Valley Community Association $410,000
- Tifft Nature Preserve Sustainability Center Expansion –Buffalo Museum of Science $225,000 in 2010 funds and $275,000 in 2011 funds.
In 2011, the Committee was very active approving projects and inspecting the work of projects that have received support. The Committee received several projects for consideration and was able to review all submissions through the website of the Community Foundation. Seven projects were approved this year totaling over $1.1 million.
- Tifft Street Pier — City of Buffalo — $470,000
- Fenian Invasion Marker — Fenian Marker Committee: — $21,108
- Adaptive Paddle sports Launch System — City of Tonawanda $75,325
- Black Rock Heritage Trail War of 1812 Project — Northwest Buffalo Community Development Center — $105,000
- Black Rock Canal Park Improvements –Erie County $900,000 ($135,000 2010 funds; $765,000 in 2011 and 2012 fund).
- River Fest Park Phase II — Valley Community Association $250,000
- Fireboat Cotter — Friends of the Cotter $60,000 Challenge Grant.
In 2012, the Committee received twelve funding requests and provided support totaling $1.85 million to the following projects:
- Bird Island Pier Project – City of Buffalo $750,000
- War of 1812 Bicentennial Signage — Seaway Trail $15,000
- Tonawanda Shoreline Stabilization Proposal – City of Tonawanda $250,000
- Front Park, Phase 1 — Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $435,750
- River Rock Gardens – Riverside Park, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $220,350
- Riverfest Park — Valley Community Association $104,000
- Scenic Woods Bicentennial Park — Town of Grand Island for $164,321
- 1812 Bicentennial Commemoration – 1812 Legacy Council $127,500
In 2013, the Committee received 15 funding requests and provided support totaling $1.8 million to the following projects:
- Buffalo Museum of Science Tifft – Education Center, Phase 1 $150,000*
- ADA Accessible Fishing Pier – City of Tonawanda $210,000
- Waterfront Landscaping Planning – Town of Tonawanda $70,000
- Front Park Phase II – Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $433,650
- Bird Island Pier Phase II – City of Buffalo $750,000
- Francis Folsom Weather Inlet – Cazenovia Community Center $187,800
In 2014, the Committee received six funding requests and provided support totaling over $1.7 million to the following projects:
- Buffalo Museum of Science Tifft – Education Center, Phase 1 $112,500*
- Scajaquada Creek Paddlesport Launch Micro-Park–Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper $601,987
- Crowley Avenue Shelter Enhancements – Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $729,000
- Buffalo River Rowing Center – Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association $100,000
- Francis Folsom Weather Inlet – Cazenovia Resource Center, Phase 2 $157,365
- USS Trippe – Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council $35,000
In 2015, the Committee received eleven funding requests and provided support totaling over $2 million to the following projects:
- South Buffalo Lighthouse Restoration & Reuse Project: Buffalo Lighthouse Association $50,000 for release in 2016. Said award is conditioned on the Standing Committee’s review of additional information from the applicant.
- Cazenovia Park- Shoreline & Trail Rehabilitation: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $120,000.
- Riverside Park- South Loop Trail Project: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy: $404,000
- Delaware Park- Scajaquada Trail- Point of the Meadow: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy $35,400
- Boating Center Phase 3- Francis Folsom Cleveland Fair Weather Inlet: Cazenovia Community Resource Center: $90,000
- LaSalle Park Improvements- Foot of Porter Avenue: City of Buffalo $200,000
- Revitalization & Waterfront Access Enhancement Strategy- Erie County Park & Trail System along the Niagara Project: County of Erie $225,000
- Tribute Garden Enhancement & Beautification- Isle View Park Project: Motion to fund the County of Erie: $181,660
- Black Rock Canal Park Improvements- Phase 3: County of Erie $425,000*
- Niagara River & Erie Canal Signage Expansion: Historical Society of the Tonawandas $23,465
- Intermodal Transit Hub Project: City of Tonawanda $70,000
- Buffalo Science Museum Tifft – Education Center, Phase 1 – $112,500*
- Buffalo River Fest Park Comfort Station & Signage & Cameras: Valley Community Association $321,000
In 2016, the Committee received 15 funding requests and provided support totaling $1,948,370 million to the following projects:
- Buffalo Lighthouse Association: Buffalo South Entrance Light (South Buffalo Lighthouse) $50,000
- Buffalo Lighthouse Association: Lighthouse Point Site Enhancement & Bike Path $115,390
- Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy: Cazenovia Park- Shoreline & Trail Rehabilitation Project- Phase 2 $557,980
- Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy: Delaware Park- Scajaquada Trail- Phase 5 Rumsey Woods* $50,000
- Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences: Tift Nature Preserve Visitor Center Improvements- Phase 2 $150,000
- Cazenovia Community Resource Center: Boating Center Phase 4- Francis Folsom Cleveland Fair Weather Inlet $120,000
- City of Buffalo: Jesse Kregal – Shoreline Trail Connector* $40,000
- City of Buffalo: LaSalle Park Design and Waterfront Access $65,000
- City of Tonawanda: Intermodal Transit Hub $425,000
- County of Erie: Black Rock Canal Park Improvements – Phase 3 $275,000
- Valley Community Association: Buffalo River Fest Park Wharf, Shelter, Signage & Cameras $100,000
“To date, the Committee has reviewed 89 projects and approved support to 67 projects. In all, the Fund has received $20 million in payments from NYPA and committed almost $19.5 to projects, some projects are multiple year awards. Of the 67 projects, 50 have successfully completed the work the Committee funded; another 11 are expected to complete all Committee funded work by the end of 2017.” – NYPA
*Allocated with multiple year awards
Lead image: Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper