National Park Service grant will focus on enhancing visitor experience
Congressman Brian Higgins was joined Friday by New York State Parks Niagara Region Director Mark Mistretta to announce $2.5 million in new federal funding for investments in Niagara Falls State Park.
“Niagara Falls is a destination like none, other drawing millions of visitors from around the world every year,” Higgins said. “This major investment creates new opportunities for up-close views of this grand natural wonder, and builds on the great progress made in recent years to enhance the park experience.”
“We are grateful to Congressman Higgins for his support of this project that will enhance the experience for visitors to Niagara Falls State Park, and we look forward to sharing details as this project shapes up,” said Mistretta, Niagara Region director for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
A press release explained, “The award will allow for a number of improvements to the area around the Niagara Falls observation tower, including an extended stairway trail from the crow’s nest to the Prospect Point observation area. The improvements will provide visitors with greater access, improved safety features, and additional incredible scenic views of Niagara Falls.”
A public meeting on the project will be held in the coming weeks.
City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino said, “We appreciate Congressman Higgins’ continued commitment to our community. This grant funding will further enhance the incredible visitor experience at Niagara Falls.”
Congressman Brian Higgins addresses the media. He is joined by City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino and Mark Mistretta, Niagara Region director for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. (Submitted photo)
Higgins’ team said, “The federal grant is awarded by the National Park Service through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In July of 2020, Higgins supported and Congress approved the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act, which permanently and fully funded the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCV) at $900 million annually. The law, which makes possible grants like this one for Niagara Falls, addresses environmental justice through enhanced green-space investments in communities, and supports the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy.
“The funding for Niagara Falls State Park is provided through the LWCF’s State and Local Assistance Program, which requires a 50% match. These grants are intended to support a ‘seamless system of parks’ across the nation.
“Since the 1970s, the LWCF has funded over a dozen grants supporting more than $3.3 million in investments at Niagara Falls State Park. Previous grants supported improvements to Whirlpool State Park, the elevator building, the Niagara Gorge Hiking Trial, and other enhancements.
This $2.5 million award is by far the largest single LWCF award for Niagara Falls State Park to date.”