The time has come to view the future of the Old First Ward and surrounding neighborhoods. With the advancement of the DL&W Corridor, linking the Cobblestone District to “the bend” of the Buffalo River, Buffalonians will soon have an exciting new walking and biking trail to explore. This long dormant, former rail track, is being given new life thanks to an “ideas competition” that has been whittled down to 25 solid proposals, as nominated by the community (learn more).
On Wednesday, April 10, from 6pm to 8pm, these proposals will be displayed at the M&T Center at Fountain Plaza in Downtown Buffalo. There will be a short presentation at 7pm, during the Open House. This Open House is being presented by The Land Conservancy.
Attendees will be asked to vote on their favorite proposals as part of the Community Choice Award element of the competition.
“Active community engagement in this corridor project continues to generate great excitement about its ultimate contribution to Buffalo’s renaissance,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “Connecting Buffalo’s neighborhoods to the waterfront will create another wave of vibrancy and opportunity for our residents and our region.”
Nearly one hundred proposals were submitted to the design ideas competition from individuals and teams across the region, the country, and around the world.
The Land Conservancy is working on a new name and identity for the trail, as well as developing outdoor programs for residents living near the corridor. But this is a trail that will attract people from all over the region for various reasons, including its strong relationship to the waterfront.
“The community continues to play a central role in guiding the transformation of this abandoned corridor into an inspiring urban nature trail and greenway,” said Nancy Smith, Land Conservancy Executive Director.
Along with the Community Choice Award, a jury of community leaders and international experts in design, community engagement, and infrastructure reuse will weigh in on their preferred concepts, with winners of all categories being announced later this spring. The Land Conservancy will be working with community and project partners over the next year to “develop a preferred design for the project.”
To date, $1 million has been raised for the project.
The open house is free to attend and open to everyone, but advanced registration is recommended to speed up the check in process. Register online at dlwcorridordesignopenhouse.eventbrite.com or by phone at 716-687-1225.
The Design Ideas Competition is made possible through generous support from M&T Bank, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Blue Fund, 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.
Photo Credit – 2018 Abby Songin