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Buffalo River restoration effort brings partners together at Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park

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Fri, Sep 8th 2017 08:50 pm
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (front row, fourth from right) joins volunteers from Labatt USA, the Buffalo Sabres, Pegula Sports Entertainment, WNY PRISM, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and Try-It Distributing at Erie County's Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park on Seneca Street in Buffalo to clean up the habitat area, remove invasive species and plant indigenous pollinator plants and grasses at the site.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz (front row, fourth from right) joins volunteers from Labatt USA, the Buffalo Sabres, Pegula Sports Entertainment, WNY PRISM, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper and Try-It Distributing at Erie County's Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park on Seneca Street in Buffalo to clean up the habitat area, remove invasive species and plant indigenous pollinator plants and grasses at the site.
Park is focal point for volunteers from Erie County, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Labatt USA, Pegula Sports and Entertainment, WNY Prism
Erie County's Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park on Seneca Street in Buffalo was the site Friday for a multitude of volunteers helping to beautify and protect the park itself and the adjoining waters of the Buffalo River. Personnel from the Erie County environment and planning and parks departments were joined by counterparts from Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Labatt USA, Pegula Sports Entertainment, the Buffalo Sabres, Try-It Distributing and WNY PRISM to clean up the habitat area, remove invasive species, plant native pollinators and grasses, and place new trees and shrubs at the site.
"Our Erie County Parks are precious natural assets, entrusted to us to protect and preserve as a community," Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said. "We all have a role to play in creating a cleaner and healthier environment, and we welcome our partners in beautifying the Seneca Bluffs habitat today. Collaborations like this empower people in the community to effect change and take ownership in caring for the natural world around them."
Poloncarz was joined by representatives and volunteers from Labatt USA, PSE, the Sabres, Try-It Distributing and WNY PRISM in the morning event at Seneca Bluffs. Labatt USA has partnered with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to focus on Buffalo River restoration efforts and has "adopted" the Seneca Bluffs Natural Habitat Park as a long-term site for similar corporate community volunteer events; that support also provides for native pollinator plants and grasses planted this morning.
Each year, Labatt USA employees are asked to volunteer between eight to 16 hours to help "offset" the company's social and environmental footprints, and Labatt USA's parent company, North American Breweries, will invest a minimum of 6,000 volunteer hours this year to impact communities all over the U.S.
As a part of their "Tap It Forward Day" initiative, approximately 75 Labatt USA, PSE, Sabres and Try-It Distributing personnel were on hand for the event, removing invasive species and helping to install new plantings to improve the health and flow of the Buffalo River. Hundreds of other employees nationwide are participating in similar activities in their own communities.
"The Buffalo River corridor has undergone an amazing transformation and is continuing its long recovery process," said Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper. "Just as the restoration of this historic river system was driven by community action, the future stewardship of the river will require significant and sustained volunteer participation. We are thrilled to partner with Labatt USA as a corporate partner who is not only vested in this corridor as a private business, but as a concerned and dedicated member of our community."
Personnel from environment and planning and parks departments also took part in the event, installing trees, shrubs and other plants from the county's pilot greenhouse project at the Erie County Correctional Facility. The Tifft Nature Preserve loaned wheelbarrows and garden tools for the large volunteer group.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit http://www2.erie.gov/environment/.

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