The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee approved more than $1.7 million in funding recently for five projects to improve the waterfront along the Niagara River Greenway.
The following entities proposed projects that were awarded funding: Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy, Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association, Cazenovia Community Boating Center and the Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council. The funding is from the New York Power Authority and was made possible as a result of the federal relicensing of NYPA's Niagara Power Project in 2007.
"The New York Power Authority is proud to support these great projects that will help the region capitalize on the natural beauty of the river," said Harry Francois, regional manager, Western New York, NYPA. "Taken together, all the projects funded under the Niagara River Greenway Plan are having a palpable effect on the aesthetics and economic vitality of Western New York, and transforming the way the community - residents and tourists alike - use the waterfront."
•Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper was awarded $601,987 for a micro park on Scajaquada Creek. The park will consist of a kayak and canoe launch, creating a highly visible public space in this waterfront neighborhood. The funding will support land acquisition, site development, design work and construction.
•Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy was awarded $729,000 for enhancements to the Crowley Avenue Shelter in Riverside Park. Built in 1952, the restoration project will include a new roof and upgrades to the bathrooms to make them handicap accessible, as well as new playground equipment, painting and general landscape restoration.
•Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association was awarded $100,000 to complete phase three of a four-phase project to purchase and erect a prefabricated building to serve as the organization's permanent headquarters. The completed, "Patrick Paladino Memorial Boathouse" will serve more than 400 members of the rowing community - from beginners to experts.
•Cazenovia Community Boating Center was awarded $157,365 for capital improvements that will enhance safety and accessibility and increase its classroom size. The center, which operates a program called "Sail Buffalo," is dedicated to providing resources for experiential learning that instill a love of water, nature and self-reliance in the children it serves.
•Niagara 1812 Bicentennial Legacy Council was awarded $35,000 for the construction of a replica of the sloop USS Trippe, which served in Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's fleet during the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
As one of four standing committees established through the relicensing of the NYPA power project, the Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee distributes funding from NYPA for projects that are deemed consistent with the Niagara River Greenway Plan. The other committees are Greenway Ecological Standing Committee, Host Community Greenway Fund Standing Committee and the State Parks Standing Committee. Greenway funding to the committees from NYPA adds up to $9 million annually over the 50-year license term for a total of $450 million.
The Buffalo & Erie County Greenway Fund Standing Committee is composed of one representative from Erie County, City of Buffalo, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and NYPA. The committee receives $2 million a year from NYPA and money not allocated during a year carries over to the following year. Since its establishment, the committee has approved $13.9 million in funding for support of 39 projects for the Niagara River Greenway.
For a complete list of the projects, visit: http://niagara.nypa.gov.