Participation. Inclusion. Action.
Words that best describe the purpose of this fundraising effort. Said together as a phrase, they illustrate the energy propelling three transformative public park improvements at Hyde Park, Liberty "Big Lou" Park and on 7th Street forward. The phrase also speaks to Niagara Falls Community Development's approach to community investment and engagement.
These projects will enhance core neighborhoods, improve community health, and bring our community together at dynamic, well planned public spaces. We are not starting with just ideas, but rather three designs that can be implemented in 2018. In total, we have already committed $275,000 to these three projects, but will need to raise an additional $350,000 to turn plans into reality.
Niagara Falls Community Development will be making funding requests of organizations and foundations with missions and goals focused on neighborhood enhancement, community health and place making, in the same way these projects are. All three plans were developed through community involvement, using participatory budgeting to give residents direct decision making power. This web page will introduce you to these special neighborhood investment plans. For more information, please contact Seth Piccirillo, Director of Niagara Falls Community Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (716) 696-0794. Thank you.
Hyde Park is the second largest public park in New York State and is accessible to a majority of Niagara Falls' residential neighborhoods. The proposed inclusionary "play pod" is a special public space for children of all abilities and directly connected to the existing Hyde Park Playground, constructed in 2016. Niagara Falls Community Development, the Niagara Falls City School District, EMPOWER, Niagara University and Kompan Playgrounds collaborated to create a design that caters to children with both special mobility and behavioral needs. Just as importantly, the space integrates with the existing playground to ensure that all children can enjoy the same features. Residents have voiced their support for improvements at this park through our Participatory Budgeting process, and the City of Niagara Falls and the School District are developing curriculum and events that will assist students with individual education plans.
7th Street Park
The proposed site of the 7th Street Park is at the center of several large investments in market-rate commercial and residential developments, educational infrastructure, and affordable housing. What's missing from this neighborhood is a vibrant public space for children and their parents to play and spend time. The 7th Street Park proposal would create a unique amenity that demonstrates commitment to a community whose access to public spaces has long been in need of serious investment. By capitalizing on the high volume of vacant lots on this block, and by timing this investment with several others in the area, we believe that a park on the 400-block of 7th Street would go a long way in improving the health of this community.
Liberty "Big Lou" Park
A long-standing local park for the 19th Street Community, Big Lou Park has been in serious disrepair for years. Residents have voiced their support for improvements at this park through our Participatory Budgeting process and with their own words. By assessing the needs of the community, potential usage of the park space, and trending professional park design and practices, we are excited to begin the implementation process. We believe a state-of-the-art "athletic playground" will allow more community members to benefit than a traditional playground design while bringing sense of pride and ownership among the 19th Street Community through a more fun and interactive design of a public space. A partnership with The Buffalo Bills would create a public space that is unique to not only Niagara Falls, but all of Western New York. Upon project completion, the City of Niagara Falls and the School District will create a physical education curriculum that can be supervised by summer park attendants.