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The Editorial Board: Federal stimulus will help improve green spaces that have suffered for lack of care

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The boarded-up Wendt Beach Mansion will be renovated and reopened using funds from the American Rescue Plan, the federal stimulus program.

If there is a silver lining to this pandemic, it may be that it increased Americans’ appreciation of their parks. They remained one of the few spaces where people felt free – even while masked. So, it seems appropriate that $57 million in American Rescue Plan funding will find its way into the green spaces of Buffalo and Erie County.

Those funds will breathe new life into the Johnnie B. Wiley Amateur Sports Pavilion in Masten Park, into Wendt Beach Park in Evans, and more than a dozen other parks and buildings. The money holds promise to revitalize long-neglected parks and others that are used but neglected. The result should be a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.

That funding will augment projects already underway. Only a few months ago, for example, this area celebrated the Western New York Land Conservancy’s final concept design for Riverline, the urban nature trail that will extend along an abandoned DL&W railroad corridor in Buffalo.

Along the Niagara River, the highly anticipated rebirth of LaSalle Park as the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park is underway. This transformation is proceeding thanks to a $50 million gift from the foundation established by the original owner of the Buffalo Bills. These projects will combine to complement the aesthetic set for Buffalo’s parks by Frederick Law Olmsted whose time spent here in the 1860s and 1870s continue to resonate.

It is,........

© The Buffalo News

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