RiverFest Park: Phase 2

The momentum of Peg Overdorf’s RiverFest Park continues with a $250,000 monetary boost allocated from the Buffalo and Erie County Greenway Standing Committee*. The city’s grassroots waterfront park has been trudging forward with inspirational advancements including the building of a bandstand and permeable walkways (see post). This is one of those initiatives that sets a precedent for how to build a waterfront. If your ducks are all in a row, and you have the necessary components that it takes to pull off a major success, then there are monies available to turn visions into realities.

Although this park appears to be rising up at the river’s edge almost overnight, the effort to rejuvenate this area has been years in the making. If you’re familiar with Ohio Street, then you know how effective River Fest has been when it comes to destination branding. After all, how many people knew where this part of the river even was before the festival tuned people in to Father Conway Park? How many people had ever kayaked down the Buffalo River before joining in on the fun at the Rigidized River Fest Regatta? For over a decade, Buffalonians have rallied around this historic industrial edge of town. Those years were the building blocks that helped to justify the need for a park. Peg and her crew at the Valley Community Center are building the ([Peg's] park the right way – they proved that people wanted the park… that they needed the park… and that they would actually use the park.

*The committee receives $2 million a year from NYPA according to the
terms of a 50-year licensing agreement the Authority signed for the
Niagara Power Project in 2007.

About the author  ⁄ queenseyes

Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Catalyst behind the Pierce-Arrow Film Arts Center. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette. Themed New Years mayhem at various locations. Next up: Porchfest... Also offers package tours of the city for groups or individuals. Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

10 comments
caseysmigelski
caseysmigelski

Where is this exactly? I usually catch up with Ohio St on my bike around Tifft (going towards Tifft nature preserve) and have never scene this park before.

South Buffalo Drifter
South Buffalo Drifter

He also own's that land where the Harbor Inn used to be on the corner of Chicago & Ohio directly across from the River Fest Park and The Cooperage.

JM
JM

The boathouse isn't next door, it's down the road, it's separated, by a 1000ft fenced in parking lot.

timvanman
timvanman

I row out of the rowing club he's funding next door

South Buffalo Drifter
South Buffalo Drifter

Yeah I am working on making a "historical walkway" at my house with bricks from all different buildings in Buffalo that are no more.

osirisascending
osirisascending

What were you looking for old bricks for? Do you have a cool project in the making? I have bricks from the Continental, and Ray Flynn's integrated into my bar.

bobbycat
bobbycat

Will this connect to the Tifft street and Gallagher Beach projects?

South Buffalo Drifter
South Buffalo Drifter

I was down there yesterday on a mission to find old bricks and it is awesome that this park is really taking shape. Peg has been one of Buffalo's biggest advocates for many years and her efforts are really paying off. Mark Schroeder has been a big help in this project as well so my hat is off to him as well. This part of the city has real potential to be the "place to be" and I sure hope it pans out that way.

I'd like to see if Carl Paladino has any plans for the adjacent property as well. I look forward to going to Riverfest this year in the New Park!

JM
JM

Peg for Mayor!

Definitely an exciting time down there, I've always used Ohio for Skyway bypass in bad weather on my motorcycle so i remember when the gas station was open and it was fairly busy then the last decade or so it's been a dead spot. I'm so glad to see all kinds of things happen down there. Even the Boathouse, although i don't use it brings a vibrancy when being used. At the tour at Powderkeg Clinton Brown said the Cooperage is still happening across the street.

Any word on what Carl is going to do next door?

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