Former creek brownfield to transform into park, kayak launch

Sep 28, 2015

Major renovations are coming to Scajaquada Creek. Two water advocacy groups on Monday announced their plans for an $850,000 to a brownfield that sits between Niagara and Tonawanda streets.

The project, four years in the making, is focused on constructing a public park and building a launch pad for kayakers. Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka says it will help reconnect people to the creek.

Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka was among those unveiling the plans on Monday.
Credit Nick Maxwell/WBFO News

“Ten years ago, when we were working on the Buffalo River, you couldn’t see a kayaker down there. You couldn’t see anybody down there walking around enjoying it for its value. The communities were cut off from it. Well, the same thing is happening and has happened along the Scajaquada corridor,” said Jedlicka.

Riverkeeper and the Buffalo Niagara River Land Trust are leading the transformation. Speakers at the Monday morning news conference said the redevelopment fits in with the movement in recent years to readapt old sites.

“What we are seeing is a more dramatic shift, one where every brownfield is no longer a useless property to be avoided and ignored. Instead, like many things in Buffalo-Niagara lately, we are witnessing regeneration,” said Niagara Falls city planner Tom DeSantis.

The renovations will start Tuesday with the demolition of the abandon building. The project is expected to be completed by 2017.