Initiative transforms concrete within grounds at Buffalo's Central Terminal into ecological oasis, classroom
Congressman Brian Higgins joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in presenting David Majewski with the EPA's Environmental Quality Award. The award is presented to those who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing environmental quality and public health. Majewski was one of only 17 individuals in New York who received the 2014 award.
"Leaders have the vision to see the possibilities and roll up their sleeves to make things happen," Higgins said. "Dave Majewski is a leader. With the support of community organizations like the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. and Fillmore Corridor Neighborhood Coalition, partners are coming together to redefine the look and feel of our city through grassroots efforts."
"Today we celebrate the exemplary work of David Majewski, who tirelessly protects the environment and gives of his time and energy to create a cleaner and healthier future for all of us," Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck said. "His extraordinary contributions serve as an inspiration to all who strive for a more sustainable environmental future."
A news release issued by the EPA cited Majewski's work.
"David Majewski has been the guiding force for the Urban Habitat Project at the Buffalo Central Terminal. The project serves as an outdoor classroom for local youth, an opportunity for urban ecology research and a demonstration of green infrastructure to manage stormwater. The site absorbs approximately 320,000 gallons of stormwater runoff from adjacent streets and redirects it to the site via adjoining bioretention cells. The three acre project includes native plant species selected to promote soil remediation and enhance biodiversity of birds, insects and mammals."
The Urban Habitat Project is located within the grounds of Buffalo's Central Terminal, which falls under the oversight of the Central Terminal Restoration Corp. The project transforms previously vacant land at the terminal into a natural environment oasis in the heart of the city. Majewski serves as ecological manager of the UHP.
Majewski, who is the principal of SRG of Buffalo, a green infrastructure consulting business and composting operation, also is a founding member of the Fillmore Corridor Neighborhood Coalition, a volunteer organization working on collaborative efforts along an identified project area that stretches from the Larkin District up through the Broadway-Fillmore and Genesee neighborhoods to East Utica.
The UHP is one of several success stories made possible through the efforts of the FCNC, which was formed just a few years ago. Other green project initiatives include the placement of creatively designed public recycling bins and planning for a greenway to complement local urban farms. The coalition's work also involves identifying business development opportunities together with partners that include Buffalo State College, the University at Buffalo and Daemen College.
In 2013, Majewski and the UHP were awarded the Nature Sanctuary Society award for Environmental Stewardship. The EPA awarded the FCNC with a $20,000 Technical Assistance Grant for Sustainable Cities in 2013, as well.
Congressman Brian Higgins, left, with David Majewski.