The Western New York Land Conservancy has scored another conservation win in WNY. This time, the Conservancy has purchased a 44-acre forest on Love Road on Grand Island from the Buffalo Ornithological Society, thanks to funding from the Greenway Ecological Standing Committee, with support by the Niagara River Greenway Commission.
At this point, the land is not open to the public, but that could change in the future, as the Conservancy is hoping to add a walking trail system (identifiable boundaries will be announced at that time). But the most important aspect of this project is the preservation and ongoing stewardship of the land, which is home to songbirds like Scarlet Tanagers and elusive salamanders like the Blue-spotted Salamander. The forest also acts as a stormwater absorber and filter, while reducing flooding and improving drinking water (due to its close proximity to the Niagara River).
Ultimately, this is just one forest that the Conservancy is working towards protecting on Grand Island, which offers a bounty of natural assets, some of which are at-risk from the pressures of development. It wasn’t that long ago that Grand Island was being considered as a location for a giant Amazon warehouse. That would have changed the dynamic of the island in ways that are unimaginable. On the other hand, preserving a 44-acre forest will benefit the island in decades to come, by significantly adding to the spectacular Niagara River Greenway.
By purchasing the Love Road property, we are protecting another crucial piece of open space to the Niagara River Greenway.
“By purchasing the Love Road property, we are protecting another crucial piece of open space to the Niagara River Greenway,” said Nancy Smith, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy. “We are thrilled the Buffalo Ornithological Society worked with us to permanently protect this wonderful place.”
David F. Suggs, President of the Buffalo Ornithological Society, said, “The Buffalo Ornithological Society was organized in 1929 to scientifically study birds and improve the conditions affecting birds. For the last few years, our Society has faced the challenge of preserving and maintaining our Grand Island Bird Sanctuary. Although we have owned the property since 1953, our members firmly agreed that it was time to find a new steward to uphold the property as an accessible, permanent sanctuary. Thanks to the sale of our property to the Land Conservancy, we have fulfilled our optimistic goal, and respected the intentions of the founders of our Society.”
This sentiment was shared by many local residents, including the Town Supervisor, John Whitney. “We welcome the purchase of this important parcel on Grand Island by the Land Conservancy. They have been tremendous partners for the town,” he said. “Our residents are the beneficiaries of this partnership, and we’ll all be able to enjoy greater watershed protection, cleaner air, and more wildlife. Preserving this Love Road property is yet another significant public benefit to the people of Grand Island, Erie County, and the State of New York.”
Lead image: Photo by Jay Burney