Aurora, NY 14052
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.
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.
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.
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.
BACK to NHP
Response to the OPRHP Pilot Evaluation - Feb. 2004