The Western New York Land Conservancy is hosting an open house for the former DL&W abandoned rail line that is positioned to become a green trail leading from an area near the DL&W Terminal to Riverbend (on the Buffalo River). The ribbon of land has become a lively conversation piece since it was first announced back in January.
Now the Land Conservancy is asking for public input regarding the future of the greenway. An open house will be held on Wednesday, March 21 from 6 to 8pm in the 1st Floor Café in the Larkin at Exchange Building. The public is invited to learn more about the future of the former DL&W rail corridor that runs through The Valley, The First Ward, and the Perry Neighborhood. Once complete, the greenway will be a significant connector, from Canalside/RiverWorks to a significant bend in the Buffalo River (at Solar City).
“We envision the DL&W corridor becoming a place where people can walk or ride a bike and where wildlife can find a home,” said Nancy Smith, Land Conservancy Executive Director. “We hope to convert this remnant of our industrial heritage into a beautiful, engaging, and ecologically resilient linear park.”
The trail project is a real win-win for the waterfront, and the city. Already, people are thinking about the future along this important strip of land. This will be a highly desirable area to live, considering the impact that it will have on surroundings neighborhoods.
“This project has such great potential to enhance the Old First Ward, and Larkinville,” said Larkin Development Group partner, Leslie Zemsky. “We are excited to host this open house and provide the community with the opportunity to be a part of the revitalization of these historic neighborhoods and build an asset that is enjoyed by the whole region.”
In order to see this initiative to fruition, The Land Conservancy is working with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), the agency that owns the land. The open house will examine the future of the site – there will be presentations, a video of a drone flyover, and draft guiding principles and strategies based on community input to date. Attendees are encouraged to share their thoughts pertaining to the early plans of the corridor.
Once the community vision plan is completed in June, the Land Conservancy will kick off an exciting design competition for the corridor, sponsored by M&T Bank.
“The DL&W trail could become the healthy urban greenspace that the community desperately needs,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Our region is seeing incredible revitalization thanks to investments along our waterfront, and the Western New York Land Conservancy has the vision and expertise to bring a natural element to Buffalo’s downtown.”
Advanced registration is requested at www.wnylc.org/events or by calling (716) 687-1225.
If you would like to support this project, donations can be made on the Land Conservancy’s website (www.wnylc.org), or by sending a check made payable to the “Western New York Land Conservancy” to P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052. All donations for the DL&W project are tax-deductible. Contact the Land Conservancy with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 687-1225.
Lead image: Dave Spiering