Niagara Falls State Park is looking better and better
Senator George Maziarz today joined the Cuomo administration in announcing the completion of Phase 1 of the restoration of Prospect Point, which is one of the most popular areas of Niagara Falls State Park. The ribbon cutting took place at the same time that ground was broken for Phase 2 of the restoration project.
Work completed in Phase 1 included landscape restoration, new railings, benches, light fixtures and walkway surfaces in the main area of Prospect Point. The next phase of the project will involve the Lower Grove Trails to the north and south of the points and will continue the work started at the main point. Work on Phase 2 is expected to be completed by late summer 2014. Scott Lawn of Sanborn is the contractor for this project, and the total cost is $4,292,000.
Senator George Maziarz said, “We see new walkways, benches and lights at Prospect Point. They are just one part of the vision for making our magnificent falls into the international attraction they must be if we are to continue to grow our local economy. Niagara Falls is a magnet for tourists. Each improvement project, new attraction, new hotel adds strength to that magnet---allowing us to hold the tourists in Niagara Falls longer.
Rose Harvey, Commissioner, Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, “Prospect Point is the place where visitors come to experience the Falls in all of their natural grandeur. Millions of pictures are snapped as people try to capture the beauty of the view. Now that Phase 1 is complete we are a step closer to realizing our vision for the point and the park. We hope that people enjoy relaxing on a new bench and hiking the freshly paved walkways.”
The improvements revealed today are outlined in a comprehensive landscape improvement plan developed in 2012 to restore the most heavily used areas of Niagara Falls State Park, including its primary viewing points, walking trails, historic buildings, and plantings. All landscape improvement projects will be consistent with the design principles utilized by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in his original vision for the park.
These projects represent a multi-year, $25 million commitment to revitalize Niagara Falls State Park, the nation’s oldest state park. Funding for the restoration is coming primarily from a lump-sum advance payment of money that NYPA previously committed to provide for Niagara River Greenway improvements at state parks under the federal relicensing of its Niagara hydropower plant. State Parks will continue to consult with the Niagara River Greenway Commission on the improvement projects.
The improvements are part of a statewide revitalization of the park system. Last year, Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature authorized the NY Works program to provide $89 million statewide to move forward with more than 100 overdue projects to improve 55 parks and historic sites and spur job creation and economic development. This year, a second round of $90 million in NY Works funding is advancing an additional 90 projects to upgrade and repair more than 50 state parks and historic sites across New York.
Listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, Niagara Falls State Park attracts over 8 million visitors a year. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.