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Input sought on Riverline designs revealed during YouTube event

The Riverline is going to be a one-and-a-half mile stretch along the Buffalo River and Canalside that will be a nature-centered public space.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Western New York Land Conservancy held a public virtual meeting Wednesday night to show off three concept designs of the Riverline nature trail and greenway. 

Organizers are seeking as much input as possible, asking people to visit the Western New York Land Conservancy website, where they can provide feedback and watch the presentation. The feedback will help the design team develop preferred concept designs which will be shared with the public this spring.

The Riverline is going to be a one-and-a-half-mile stretch along the Buffalo River and Canalside that will be a nature-centered public space.

The Conservancy, along with design partners W Architecture, Hood Design Studio, and Green Shield Ecology asked for photos from the public back in December. The photos would show them what Western New York residents would like to see at the Riverline.

The Western New York Land Conservancy said it received more than 400 pictures, and on Wednesday night, the group presented some of the submitted photos that inspired the design team and the three different concepts: refuge, gardens, and recreation.

There were some guidelines for the photos:

  • Respect the character and history of local communities and increase the quality of life for residents
  • Embrace and enhance nature that thrives along the corridor
  • Provide for different kinds of recreation and events year-round
  • Create connections beyond the old rail corridor itself
  • Design with long-term use, maintenance, and safety in mind
  • Help create additional investment and opportunity in the community

“Getting the public's input on the initial concepts is a significant step in our design work,” Barbara Wilks of Brooklyn-based W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, the lead design firm, said in a Conservancy statement.

“Not only will it give the community an opportunity to see different possible versions of The Riverline’s future, it will also give the community a chance to shape that vision moving forward. Community feedback is critical during this phase, and we welcome it.”

This was the first of three meetings showing the progression of the Riverline project. The next is scheduled to be in April where a preferred design concept will be presented to the public followed by the final presentation which will be held in June.