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1/02/14: County's Black Rock Canal Park Project Wins National Award


Earns 2013 Environmental Project of the Year Award from American Public Works Association

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning (“DEP”) has been awarded the 2013 Environmental Project of the Year award from the WNY Branch of the American Public Works Association for its work on the Black Rock Canal Park Project. Erie County’s newest park was created with leadership from the Erie County DEP in close cooperation with the Black Rock Canal Park Steering Committee. DEP also collaborated with the Project’s Consulting Engineer, Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc. as well as Project Landscape Architect, Trowbridge Wolf Michaels. The award promotes excellence in the management and administration of public works projects by recognizing the partnerships between the managing agency and participating consultants/contractors.

I congratulate Commissioner Maria Whyte and her team in the Department of Environment & Planning for being recognized for this award, and for the tireless determination they showed in making the dream of Black Rock Canal Park into a reality,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “DEP worked closely with partners in other County departments and in the public & private sectors to steer this project through each phase and created a beautiful, environmentally-friendly County park in the process. While DEP is receiving this award, all Erie County residents can enjoy the fruits of their labor at Black Rock Canal Park.”

DEP Commissioner Maria Whyte added, “I am so honored for DEP to receive this award but I want to recognize the leadership of the County Executive Mark Poloncarz and 3rd district Legislator Lynn Marinelli, the dedication of members of Black Rock Canal Park Steering Committee, and the creative engineering and visioning of our two consultants, Nussbaumer and Clarke and Trowbridge Wolf Michaels.  Without their work, this award would not be possible.”

Formerly known as the Ontario Street Boat launch and Cornelius Creek Park, the new Black Rock Canal Park had been noted by the Park Steering Committee as an area needing improvements due to vandalism and an unsafe atmosphere after dark. Working in conjunction with Erie County, the committee raised the funds needed to complete a feasibility study and master plan for the park improvements, leading to a ribbon-cutting at the new Park in May 2013. Site features at the Park include a new roadway turnaround composed of permeable pavers and granite curbing; Erie County’s first dog park, which includes a K-9 memorial monument dedicated to dogs that have served in law enforcement; and an avian theme with a bicycle path and increased green space. Numerous “green” features at the Park include LED light fixtures, solar compacting trash cans, bioswales to reduce runoff, and additional landscaping to help filter runoff.

The Department of Environment & Planning will receive the 2013 Environmental Project of the Year award at the Association’s Annual Awards Banquet on Thursday, February 6th, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Protocol Restaurant, Williamsville, NY.