The effort to transform the dormant DL&W Rail Line into a Greenway and Linear Park is another step closer to becoming reality. The waterfront trail project, along with protecting the Mossy Point Forest in Wales, are the combined recipients of more than $1 million in funding (awarded through the NYS Consolidated Funding Application – CFA) from New York State, the Western New York Land Conservancy.
This current round of DL&W Trail funding, totaling $369,000, through the CFA from the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, will allow for the second phase of the Greenway and Linear Park to get underway. This phase will serve to create the concept and schematic designs for the nature trail and greenway project, which will run through The Valley, Old First Ward, and Perry neighborhoods.
“The community is looking forward to seeing the designs for the corridor that are submitted through the competition,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “This funding through the CFA will help translate the best ideas from the competition into concept and schematic plans that will bring the project to life.”
This past November, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York announced that its Blue Fund would allocate a little over $245,000 to The Western New York Land Conservancy. That funding allowed for the strengthening of community partnerships, including include Buffalo Audubon, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Groundwork Buffalo, the Old First Ward Community Association, and the Valley Community Association. The funds also greenlighted the hiring of Anthony Armstrong, of Make Communities, to be the DL&W project manager.
Also in November, Land Conservancy kicked off the international design ideas competition for DL&W trail and greenway. The Land Conservancy also retained the advisory services of Kishore Varanasi, an award-winning urban designer, strategist, innovator, teacher, and writer. At the time, professional and student designers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners, and artists, were invited to submit their visions for the 1.5-mile elevated trail. Submissions to www.wnylc.org/dlw-design are due February 15 (there is no cost to participate). Upwards of 200 people from around the globe have already registered to participate. Those wishing to participate in the competition must register by emailing email@example.com. Winners will be announced this spring. Monetary prizes will be awarded to winning submissions (awards ranging from $1,000 to $7,500).
- Charles Davis II, Assistant Professor of Architectural History and Criticism, University at Buffalo
- Ken Greenberg, Principal of Greenberg Consultants/author of Walking Home – the life and lessons of a city builder
- Sara Heidinger, President of the Old First Ward Community Association/co-owner Undergrounds Coffee House & Roastery
- Chris Reed, Founding Director of Stoss Landscape Urbanism/Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design
- Robert Shibley, Professor and Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning/UB Campus Architect/Senior Fellow at the UB Regional Institute
- Janne Sirén, Director of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
- Ana Traverso-Krejcarek, Manager of the High Line Network, at Friends of the High Line
Funding/support for the competition is from M&T Bank, Blue Fund of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy through the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund, and numerous individual Land Conservancy members and donors.
Lead image: Photo Credit – Abby Songin