Joint public/private award through Sustain Our Great Lakes program
Congressman Brian Higgins, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, and the Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy announced a new commitment of $595,000 to support green infrastructure at Ralph Wilson Park in Buffalo.
“Ralph Wilson Park continues the progress of connecting people to Buffalo’s waterfront, serving a unique site with something for everyone,” Higgins said. “This funding will further enhance the park, which has been designed with public input to embrace our place as a Great Lake city and will stand as a lasting legacy of Ralph Wilson’s commitment to Buffalo.”
Brown said, “I’m pleased to see this project moving forward. I thank the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation for their partnership, and I thank Congressman Brian Higgins for his steadfast commitment to this, and so many other projects in our city. This $595,000 in funding will help support our mission to build a park that is a Great Lakes destination.”
The award includes $297,500 in federal funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) combined with a matching grant of the same amount from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Higgins, a member of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, supported a major boost to GLRI funding through the federal budget and the “Bipartisan Infrastructure Law” that will deliver $3.125 billion to projects across the Great Lakes region through 2026.
Higgins’ team added, “The latest grant to Buffalo will support the installation of 660 more trees and shrubs at Ralph Wilson Park, complementing additional work planned that will aid stormwater management, enrich the park’s landscape, and support urban reforestation.”
The Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy Executive Director Katie Campos said, “The transformation of LaSalle Park into Ralph Wilson Park came about through a community-led process with significant investment in environmental sustainability while also increasing access to green space and the waterfront. Once Ralph Wilson Park is completed, over 2,000 new trees will have been planted, providing comfort through shade and wind protection, and seasonal interest through flowering and fall colors to all visitors.”
The press release added, “Construction is currently underway at Ralph Wilson Park, a 100-acre public park along the Lake Erie shoreline. Work, scheduled to continue through 2025, will completely transform what was previously LaSalle Park into a one-of-a-kind destination.”
Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka said, “Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper continues to work in close collaboration with the city, the Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy, and all of the project partners to seek out and secure the diverse funding needed to make the vision of Ralph Wilson Park a reality. By prioritizing the ecological and environmental enhancements of the park, not only will we protect and restore a significant area of the city’s shoreline, but this work will provide equitable access to Lake Erie for generations to come. We are grateful that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation continues to provide financial support to our community for these important ecosystem improvements.”
The grant to Buffalo, administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, is among just 43 awards nationwide receiving $17.6 million in federal funding with matching contributions delivering a $42.6 million impact in Great Lakes projects across the country.
To learn more about Ralph Wilson Park, visit: https://rwparkbuffalo.org.