Black Rock Canal Park - Update
Back in November, Buffalo Rising profiled Black Rock Canal Park, the concept created by the Black Rock and Riverside communities to rebuild the Ontario Street Boat Launch and the adjacent Cornelius Creek Park. Over the past four months, much progress has been made by the Black Rock â€“ Riverside Good Neighborâ€™s Planning Alliance (GNPA) in selling this concept to elected officials.
In late November, the concept was presented to County and State elected officials to gauge interest in the plan. It was well received. In December, the plan was presented to City planning officials, which gave the concept preliminary approval as long as funding sources could be identified. Since January, the GNPA has been meeting with local developers and others interested in the Black Rock and Riverside area to present the plan and look for support in making this concept become reality.
Last Thursday, the Black Rock â€“ Riverside GNPA hosted a conference at Harryâ€™s Harbor Place Grill for various stakeholders with whom the proposed Black Rock Canal Park would be of interest. Representatives from the offices of Senator Schumer, Congressman Higgins, County Legislator Maria Whyte, the City of Buffalo Office of Strategic Planning, the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers, the Greenway Commission, NYS Parks, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Erie County Sheriffs Department, U.S. Homeland Security, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, NYS Police, and several more groups attended. Also, in attendance were State Senator Thompson and Buffalo Common Councilmember Golombek.
The conference presented to these various agencies an overview of the concept of Black Rock Canal Park in order to gather opinions and support. The support of these agencies is important considering that a part of the concept is to locate Homeland Security and other law enforcement staff that need access to the Niagara River at the site. The property is located at an advantageous curve along the river that allows for sweeping views that would be ideal for these agencies. Also, it is proposed that Black Rock Canal Park be added to the NYS Park System which would add security and additional funding sources to make this isolated location a vibrant, safe waterfront park.
Various levels of support are important at the current stage in the planning process as the Black Rock â€“ Riverside GNPA looks to obtain funding for a feasibility study. More meetings are planned in the immediate future with groups that are interested in the recreational aspects of the project.
Get connect: Richard Mack, Chair Black Rock â€“ Riverside GNPA (716) 877-8400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.