A recent trip to Forest Lawn Cemetery was a real eye opener. The Cemetery has dedicated a significant plot of land to conservation efforts, which are being implemented by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. The land in question is positioned at the intersection of the Delaware Park S-Curves and the Scajaquada Creek. The work is significant in that it entails four new pedestrian bridges, water retention efforts (a set of beautiful interconnected ponds), new wildlife habitat, vegetation, and weirs.
Instead of designating this valuable property to cemetery plots, Forest Lawn decided to create an environmental oasis, where people can walk about and reflect, while enjoying nature.
As for the water quality of the Scajaquada Creek, there has been growing concern in recent years, about ways to address pollutants from being dumped into the body of water from towns upstream. Unsavory discharges continue to make their way into the waters, wreaking havoc on the creek.
One of the most recent environmentally-friendly efforts was led by State Assemblyman Sean Ryan. Ryan implemented a program in the Village of Hamburg that saw 1300 storm drains stenciled with the words “Dump no waste. Leads to beach.” This stencil program will hopefully signal to residents that debris, litter, oil, etc. that ends up in the catch basin drains end up in our waterways. Any effort that can help keep our waterways clean is a welcome effort. Now that there has been stepped up work to rehabilitate the lands surrounding the Scajaquada Creek at Forest Lawn, it’s just as imperative to hold towns and villages upstream accountable for the discharge waste that pollute our precious waters. These same pollutants eventually end up in the Niagara River (and beyond).