Monday, August 30, 2004

Niagara This Week

From: Ian

To: Niagara This Week

Sent: Friday, July 16, 2004 4:53 PM

Subject: For love of the park

After several months of waiting residents of Niagara were finally able to speak their mind face to face with the Niagara Parks Commission.

The Parks knew they were going to be ducking arrows at the recent public meetings they conducted to explain why the grass wasn't being cut. Meetings that were scheduled after the parks was inundated with phone calls, e-mails and articles in the local news papers, from both residents that live along the 56 km parkway and residents that live in Niagara Falls and the surrounding region.

Regeneration, Buffer zones, Bad weather and the lack of budgets were the main reasons given by the NPC for the long grass.

Even after a presentation by both the NPC and the Niagara Conservation Authority most in attendance were not impressed with the NPC's project. Most were upset that the NPC had neglected to inform residents especially those who live along the Parkway of the plan.

A very rainy May and budget cuts are two of the reasons the NPC gave for areas that aren't apart of the regeneration project. But those two reasons were not widely accepted by those who attended the meetings.

During the meetings it was very noticeable that the NPC was taken by surprise by how much the residents love THEIR Park.

Even with the NPC saying they are doing what they can to catch up residents asked why wasn't the NPC hiring more people and getting more equipment to take care of the grounds and to spend money where it's needed getting the park back in shape instead of spending it on new projects such as the Gondola.

It was great to hear the people in attendance speaking out about what truly is a beautiful stretch of parkland and without a doubt the flagship of Ontario Tourism.

Regeneration along the parkway will take some time to catch on and in the long term it will help along the shorelines. Information and notification certainly would have helped the NPC to make this project more acceptable. Hopefully they will keep this in mind for future projects.

I would like to thank everyone that attended the meetings and expressed the need to get the park back into shape as a whole. Even though the meetings were to discuss the long grass residents expressed concern about the entire operation.

I hope the NPC will take what they heard in these meetings to the table and continue from this point on to include both the residents and its staff on future projects.

Ian Mather

Niagara Falls

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