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August 15, 2001



Jean R. Knox

437 Buffalo Road

East Aurora, NY 14052


Dear Commissioner Knox:


Over a century ago Niagara Frontier Parks Commissioners took an active role in helping to reclaim a natural Niagara from inappropriate commercial exploitation.  Since that time the Olmsted vision on which that restoration was based has been systematically set aside in favor of whatever “development” or economic benefit seemed a good idea at the moment.  Currently, the Niagara Reservation appears to be at a crossroads: the Office of State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has announced its intentions to restore and manage the Reservation in ways more compatible with the Olmsted philosophy; the National Parks Service is offering help in recreational improvement and the possibility of establishing a Historic Heritage Area in the Niagara region; public/private agreements threaten the integrity of the Reservation while questionable entertainments, such as fireworks, car shows, and bands are routinely seen as acceptable park activities.


While the Niagara Heritage Partnership sees its proposal for gorgetop parkway removal and landscape restoration as a perfectly reasonable extension of the Olmsted vision, others see it as an insulting threat to their right to commute in the most rapid way possible.


We encourage the Commission to become more actively involved in these and other issues that have the potential to compromise the direction set by NYSOPRHP.  The Commission has a significant role to play in public education and in helping public officials and others to establish a park system here unequalled in the urban parks of the world.


Please consider, either as a group or individually, meeting with representatives of the Niagara Heritage Partnership and others in the community to discuss ways in which we might cooperate to achieve common goals.  We are looking forward to hearing from you.





Bob Baxter

Conservation Chair


c: Harvey Albond

    David Broderick

    Heather DeCastro

    Minot Ortolani


BACK to NHP Response to the OPRHP Pilot Evaluation - Feb. 2004



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Niagara Heritage Partnership

MPO Box 1495

Niagara Falls, New York 14302-1723