December 20, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Progress at Buffalo Harbor State Park

Governor Cuomo Announces Progress at Buffalo Harbor State Park

Governor Cuomo today announced construction at Buffalo Harbor State Park will begin in September on projects that expand outdoor recreation and access to the waterfront.

This park is a key feature of the Outer Habor project and the revitalization of one of Buffalos greatest assets--its waterfront," Governor Cuomo said. "This transformation will attract new investments, lead to new opportunities, and serves as yet another example of how Buffalo is on the move."

Last month, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation joined the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to host three public meetings where community input was solicited for ideas on Buffalos Outer Harbor development, including Buffalo Harbor State Park. Over the course of the three meetings, the public provided ideas for the best long term ways to increase uses for this property. Feedback is currently being evaluated and will be incorporated in future plans.

Work will begin on phase one this Fall, including:

  • Construction of a nautical themed playground, two picnic pavilions, and a stage area equipped with appropriate electric and water utilities;
  • Construction of berms to vary site topography and provide a greener view shed;
  • Extension of existing paths to create new perimeter paths on the east and north side of the park;
  • Restoration of park furnishings including bike racks, trash and recyclable bins, landscaping as well as storm water & utility infrastructure; and
  • Enhancement of the entire green space surface that includes the installation of new sod and soil cover.

Renderings of Buffalo Harbor State Parks enhancements are available on the State Parks website by clicking here.

Rose Harvey, Commissioner of the Office of State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, said, The Western New York community truly has an interest in the future of their waterfront and State Parks feels fortunate to be a part of it. The turnout for these meetings was tremendous and we are thrilled with the feedback we received for our plans for Phase 1 as well as the feedback for projects we can take on in the future. We look forward to continued progress at our newest State Park and to developing it into a true waterfront destination."

Congressman Brian Higgins said, For decades this prime public property along the waters edge has lacked the attention it deserves. The plans to expand greenspace, improve waterfront views and increase family amenities represents a new beginning and a real investment in Buffalos front lawn by New York State Parks who understands how to serve the public, will provide new and exciting immediate upgrades, and will take pride in maintaining the park for years to come.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "The goal for the Outer Harbor has always been to increase public access to the water which will result in more people coming to enjoy this unique property. Under Governor Cuomos leadership the progress has been swift. The Buffalo Harbor State Park will provide new opportunities to fish, walk, relax and play along our continually growing waterfront."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, I commend the Governor acting quickly on his plan to design a world class New York State Park here in Erie County. The renderings provide a striking view of the transformation that is about to take place as we work to reshape our waterfront and provide activities that will attract an increase of visitors and residents alike.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, Buffalos Outer Harbor is prime waterfront property and its finally becoming an area that both residents and visitors will be able to enjoy. My administration has made it a priority to improve access to the waters edge. From major investments at Erie Basin Marina, to the $172 million HarborCenter project, to the redevelopment of Ohio Street and historic Broderick Park, weve made significant headway over the years and its only getting better. I thank Governor Cuomo for creating the Buffalo Harbor State Park, providing more opportunities that spur additional investment, businesses and jobs.

Robert Gioia, Chairman of ECHDC and the Buffalo Waterfront Development Advisory Committee and President of the Oishei Foundation said, The Buffalo Harbor Park is an important piece of a cohesive waterfront plan that is imperative for creating connectivity between the Outer Harbor, the Cobblestone District, Canalside and downtown. These unique projects at the State Park will give us a chance to see some of the publics ideas for the new park come to life. There is nothing like the excitement at the waters edge to generate attention, participation and investment in our great city.