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Creating a 'Destination' at Liberty Park

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Fri, Apr 6th 2018 04:30 pm
A park rendering provided by Niagara Falls Community Development.
A park rendering provided by Niagara Falls Community Development.
Resident-voted park improvement becomes reality
By Seth Piccirillo
Director, Niagara Falls Community Development
Construction of a new playground/exercise course at Liberty (Big Lou Sirianni) Park, at the corner of Forest Avenue and 19th Street, will begin this spring. The project was voted for by the residents of Niagara Falls, through our participatory budgeting (PB360) process, giving the public direct control of neighborhood spending. We are proud to announce this neighborhood improvement will also feature the hometown brand.
Niagara Falls Community Development has partnered with Destination Niagara USA, the region's destination marketing organization, to include Destination Niagara USA's new branding at the park.
We are creating dynamic public spaces that feel different than typical parks and playgrounds. Including Destination Niagara USA's unique look will let residents know that Liberty Park is theirs and a place to be proud of.
The new Liberty Park will include a physical fitness course designed for all ages, with workout routines that can be accessed by a mobile app.
USA Destination Niagara USA, formerly the Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp., unveiled a new tourism marketing brand to increase awareness of Niagara Falls and Niagara County as an international bucket-list destination in March 2017. Earlier this year, the new website earned a Gold Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association.
John Percy, president and CEO of Destination Niagara USA, said, "We are extremely happy with the new brand and the tremendous success we are seeing so far in the consumer marketplace. The brand, however, isn't just about tourists; it can also serve as a symbol of pride for our local residents who live, work and play here. We are honored to be a part of this playground project that local children and their families are sure to enjoy, and we thank Niagara Falls Community Development for including us."
The entire park improvement project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program.
"Federal funding provided through the CDBG program allows for communities to invest in areas that best fit their needs," Congressman Brian Higgins said. "This project, driven by resident input, continues a series of investments that bring people together and strengthen local neighborhoods."
The PB30 process that allowed residents to vote for Liberty Park designated Niagara Falls as only the second American city to invite residents to decide how CDBG funds are spent.
Once completed, Liberty Park will also feature new community programming funded by a recently received New York State Health Foundation funding award, in partnership with the Niagara Falls City School District and Empower.

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