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Open Niagara Falls to eco-tourism

15 June 1999

This is in response to the Readers' View article of May 30: "Parkway showcases the beauty of Niagara," by Judi Kozminske.

I wonder how a person who has lived in this area for a mere five years can pass judgment on local residents who have lived here their whole lives. Kozminske obviously has no idea of the number of locals who enjoy, on a regular basis, the falls, gorge, Devils' Hole, Whirlpool State Park and the numerous other places of beauty on the Niagara Frontier.

I can also tell you that the supporters of the removal of the parkway are doing much more than "marveling at the view" while going 55 mph in their cars. These people are wonderful local residents who are trying desperately to restore another piece of our disappearing American landscape. With ecotourism at an all-time high, the idea of a bicycle and walking path from Niagara Falls to Artpark through a beautifully wooded park is something many American and foreign tourists alike are starving for.

In the current days of massive urban sprawl and constant development, along with our state parks being sold out to golf courses and the like, this is the most refreshing idea I've heard in years. It is precisely because of these individuals and others like them who have had the courage to stand up and fight for what they believe that there are still some natural places of beauty left for us to enjoy.

The Ongiara trail is one of the most beautiful places in the area, the only problem being the sound of speeding cars going down the parkway. This is more than a bit of a distraction during what should be a peaceful nature walk.

Also, the notion that "memories of the past" are "clouding the vision of what this city could be now" is probably one of the saddest statements I have heard in quite some time. The residents who have lived in this area during the prosperous times know what a great city Niagara Falls was and can be again.

The beginning of the end of the downtown area was, in this writer's opinion, the construction of the Robert Moses Parkway. People no longer had a reason to travel down Main Street, for they were now afforded a faster way to reach their destination. This development came, not only at the expense of the downtown area, but also caused the destruction of habitat that was vital to the area wildlife.

This parkway removal may fly in the face of our fast-paced lifestyles, but sometimes in life you have to go against the grain and think of something other than your own convenience. Would you like your children to have the opportunity to enjoy nature up close, or from the window of a speeding car? It is my belief that if they could understand the impact of a highway versus a woodland, they would surely choose the latter.  

I fail to understand how people can constantly be so critical toward a group of caring individuals who dare to dream and are so willing to put themselves and their time into giving something back to the Earth. These people deserve nothing but respect for their courage and conviction in a

Lori Stumpf, Lewiston


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