The Town of Grand Island was one of four municipalities that received certificates of accomplishment for earning the Erie County Environmental Management Council's Environmental Excellence Award for projects each has completed.
Acting EMC Chair Anne Bergantz joined County Executive Mark Poloncarz on May 1 to present the certificates to representatives from each municipality. The EMC Environmental Excellence Awards were established this year to showcase municipal and not-for-profit projects that can be replicated in communities across Erie County and beyond.
The town was awarded for the Woods Creek Living Shorelines Project.
The other 2015 Environmental Excellence Award winners are:
•City of Buffalo, electronic waste recycling program
•Town of Aurora, Reading Road ditch reconfiguration
•Village of Williamsville, Spring Street streetscape and green Infrastructure Project
The Town of Grand Island took advantage of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's Niagara River Riparian Restoration Program to implement a riparian planting and no-mow buffer strip along Woods Creek on town-owned property in September 2012. Located in the Town Commons, the area is immediately adjacent to Town Hall and a highly visible area in the center of the town.
The project's aim included reducing the stream bank erosion and sedimentation of the creek by restoring the riparian buffer that once existed along the creek. The no-mow feature of the project allowed the town to cut down on maintenance costs for the property, while the grassy strip, shrubs and trees created habitat, stabilized the stream bank and reduced pollutants (stormwater run-off and fertilizers) from entering the creek. The town has been following the maintenance (no-mow) plan since 2012. Today the riparian buffer is fully established and provides a beautiful naturalized area along Woods Creek with multiple environmental benefits.
This project was achieved at a minimal cost, just the out-of-pocket cost of purchasing the necessary plants. Labor was provided by volunteers from Grand Island residents and the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's organization.