Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center was awarded a $155,000 Community Development Grant from the City of Niagara Falls to support a comprehensive renovation of Schoellkopf Park, a cornerstone of the NFMMC medical campus.
NFMMC stated, “As the first public city park of Niagara Falls, Schoellkopf not only preserves the city's rich heritage, but also bridges the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center with neighboring areas, highlighting its significance as a central urban greenspace.”
CEO and President Joseph Ruffolo said, “I’d like to express our profound gratitude to Mayor Restaino, the city administration, and the entire City Council for their investment in our neighborhood and medical campus. As the only full-service hospital in Niagara County, providing a peaceful space like Schoellkopf Park for our patients and their families is pivotal. This initiative further illustrates our unified dedication to enhancing community well-being."
The renovation plans for the park include repainting its iron fencing, restoring the historic pillars at the Walnut Avenue entrance, enhancing pedestrian pathways, updating the sprinkler system, and installing contemporary lighting fixtures for improved public safety. A segment of the grant is also reserved for replanting specific park zones that have shown wear over the years.
Mayor Robert Restaino said, “This grant signifies more than just an investment in Schoellkopf Park. It stands as a testament to our ongoing commitment to elevating and preserving the scenic beauty of Niagara Falls. Our partnership with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center underscores the transformative outcomes possible when the community pulls together."
Established in 1913, the two-acre park, located at the intersection of Portage Road and Pine Avenue, honors Arthur Schoellkopf, a past mayor and son of notable power pioneer Jacob Schoellkopf.
In the late 1990s, to facilitate the construction of the 120-bed Schoellkopf Health Center, the park's ownership was transitioned from the City of Niagara Falls to NFMMC. Since then, NFMMC has overseen and maintained the property.
The press release added, “The park remains a cherished community landmark, recognized for its vibrant flowerbeds, diverse flora, canopy-covered walkways, seating areas and prominent central fountain.”
Rejuvenation efforts for the park began last year after the partnership agreement was signed, with a completion date set for November.