Plans are moving forward to improve public access to an often overlooked section of the Buffalo waterfront. A new micro-park is in the works along the Scajaquada Creek in Black Rock.
A dilapidated mix of buildings on Niagara near Tonawanda Street will soon be demolished and replaced with green space and a canoe and kayak launch.
Jessie Fisher, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper's Director of Development, says the goal is to provide a universal access point so that local residents can use the Scajaquada Creek and see the ecological treasure that it is.
"It's a beautiful creek. If you're only familiar with the creek from driving over it on the 198 or on Elmwood Avenue, you don't get the benefit of seeing how rich it is in ecological life. And it's a beautiful recreation site."
From the creek paddlers can also access the Niagara River and Black Rock canal. Fisher says the site is a perfect example of ecological restoration blending with economic revitalization.
"We really believe the result of this will be community transformation. And not just for the Black Rock and Riverside neighborhood but for all of us as a Western New York community," Fisher said.
"This was identified in 2007 as a primary need of the Niagara River Greenway, access into the creek, and into Black Rock Canal and into the Niagara River. So, it really is fulfilling a larger goal of the community and helping us transform our waterfront from a place that the community is cut off from to a place that the community can have the full benefit of."
The New York Power Authority provided a $600,000 grant for the micro-park which is part of RiverKeepers "Rust to Blue" initiative. Fisher says it should be open to the public next year.