National grid's commitment to re-energize Gill Creek Park comes into full bloomby jmaloni
Niagara Falls Park receives another installment of $125,000 extreme makeover
In what has become something of a rite of spring, more than 50 National Grid employees returned to Gill Creek Park in Niagara Falls Wednesday to continue efforts to beautify and transform this popular public park and community asset into one of Niagara County's most picturesque and useful green spaces. This is the fourth time in five years that National Grid volunteers have worked with city and neighbor organizations on projects in the park.
"Our commitment to transforming Gill Creek Park over the years continues the company's long tradition of volunteering throughout Western New York, safeguarding the environment, and working with the communities we serve," said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional executive for National Grid. "National Grid is very proud of what our employees have accomplished at Gill Creek Park and we are thrilled to be able to help make this public park into a true community treasure."
The team of National Grid employees completed some ambitious gardening projects during this year's effort, including trash pick-up, flower planting, weeding, mulching, hedging and edging. The company also helped build two regulation-sized beach volleyball courts in the park for the community. The courts will be operated by the Niagara Street Area Business & Professional Association, which plans to schedule leagues and will coordinate free for use by area residents when not being used for leagues.
In addition, National Grid expanded on its educational component of this annual cleanup by hosting more than 30 students from the Niagara Street School for an outdoor lesson at the park by one of the company's head environmental engineers. Students learned about the importance of protecting the environment and the benefits of practicing sustainability.
This year's cleanup completes the latest phase of a plan to transform the once underutilized park into a true community asset and beautiful public space. In addition to extensive cleanup, weeding and hedging of bushes over the years, National Grid has constructed very large landscape planters out of concrete pavers, created new raised flower beds to plant a myriad of flowers, planted many new shrubs and refreshed existing flower beds with new top soil, mulch and flowers.
The company also constructed a 50-foot by 10-foot garden that serves as a centerpiece of the park and is used to educate children at Niagara Street School about environmental sciences. The peace garden also includes more than 40 indigenous plants that will be fully top soiled and mulched. National Grid made sure all improvements adhered to the master plan for the public park developed by the Niagara Street Area Business & Professional Association and the City of Niagara Falls. National Grid's investment into Gill Creek Park over the years is more than $125,000.
National Grid is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. For more information, visit www.nationalgridus.com.