NIAGARA FALLS – City residents will soon have a chance to reshape public green space in their neighborhoods and throughout the city.
Beginning today, planning workshops for a citywide park master plan will be held for the public to share views on the parks in their parts of the city. Planners say public input gathered this week will be used to develop more detailed plans for parks in each neighborhood.
“We’re trying to make sure each neighborhood has a sufficient and beneficial amount of park and recreation space to meet the needs of the residents,” said senior planner Thomas DeSantis. “We have a city surrounded on two sides by water, we have a state park, a lot of public waterfront and a good number of park acreage in the city, and we need to make sure assets are appropriately being used to satisfy residents’ needs.”
A comprehensive parks master plan was among the priorities identified in the city’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan, DeSantis said, adding that a new document will be created for future administrations to take stock of the city’s park space and more easily make improvements.
The parks strategy will include master planning, inventory and analysis of the parks, and the creation of an easily accessed database of prioritized park improvements. City officials began the parks master plan strategy last year with a series of community workshops.
“The hope and idea is we will be able to rationalize physical assets and match them with neighborhood needs and also capitalize and maintain budgets going forward so that we’re not year after year trying to fix something that’s broken and needs to be done right away,” DeSantis said.
The planning session for west Niagara Falls will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today in Room 20 of Maple Avenue Elementary School, 952 Maple Ave. The east Niagara Falls session will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in the cafeteria of LaSalle Preparatory School, 7436 Buffalo Ave.
The planning session for central Niagara Falls, which was to be held Thursday in Niagara Falls High School, has been postponed because of Mayor Paul A. Dyster’s State of the City address. The mayor will give the address at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Culinary Institute Niagara Falls, 28 Old Falls St. Plans for a rescheduled central parks meeting have not been finalized.