Niagara Falls State Park is going "from shabby to shining." That's the message from Rose Harvey, the Commissioner of the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Harvey joined local officials Friday to re-open several sections of the park that recently underwent renovations.
Three Sisters Island has received nearly $2-million in repairs, including new pedestrian walkways, new railings, expanded parking and enhanced landscaping. Luna Island has received a $1-million overhaul that includes new walkways, landscaping and lighting. The state also invested $1.7 million in upgrades at the Cave of the Winds.
“This is such an historic time at Niagara Falls State Park. We have not seen an infusion of capital and a wholesale approach to the look and feel of this park in a generation. And now our nation’s oldest state park is going from shabby to shining," Harvey said.
Officials also broke ground on a more than $4-million project to revitalize Prospect Point. The work will take place in phases so as to always provide access for visitors and will include landscape restoration, new railings, benches, light fixtures and walkway surfaces. Authorities say construction will not affect any of the attractions at Niagara Falls State Park.
The improvements revealed today are outlined in a comprehensive landscape improvement plan developed in 2012 to restore the most heavily used areas of the park. All projects will be consistent with the design principles utilized by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in his original vision for the park.
“These projects help to preserve and enhance the historic landscape at Niagara Falls State Park, a legacy built on the genius of Frederick Law Olmsted, who originally campaigned to create this park and designed it to provide free access to one of the world’s natural wonders," said Thomas Herrera-Mishler, CEO & President of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
The projects represent a multi-year, $25 million commitment to improve Niagara Falls State Park, which is the oldest state park in the country.