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Updated Riverline project plans presented to the public

The new draft includes elements that were added after input was given in February.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Wednesday the public got a first glimpse of the updated plans for The Riverline Trail project. The Western New York Land Conservancy aims to renovate 1.5 miles of rail line along the Buffalo River from Canalside to the Tesla plant. 

The virtual meeting was scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday and included a virtual presentation of the new draft. There was also opportunities for people in the community to make their own recommendations. 

The design process is supported by a team of urban design experts from across the United States, including W Architecture, Hood Design Studio and Green Shield Ecology. According to the conservancy, this public release of new renderings represents the halfway point of the design process.

2 On Your Side spoke with one of the project managers, Anthony Armstrong, who explained the recent design combines multiple elements based on input from the public on a previous design that was unveiled in February. 

"So that's the most important thing about this project is how can this be really a special place that people want to be, how can it be the kind of place that provides that sort of connectivity and how can it help provide that access to nature that we don't really have in the city and that everyone should be able to have access to," Armstrong told 2 On Your Side's Karys Belger. 

Following the meeting, the recording was made available for those who were not able to attend along with a survey for further public input.

"There are things like nature trails, wildlife viewing and quiet places in the refuge, in the gardens, things like butterfly gardens, storm water gardens and neighborhood gardens, and in recreation, things like paddling, art installations, sledding and playgrounds," Barbara Wilks of W Architecture said during the presentation on Wednesday night. 

Organizers hoping to have a final design by June, though there's still a lot of fundraising left to do before work would even get started here.

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