Nearly $1.3 Million Invested in Chestnut Ridge Alone and More Than $8 Million Invested Countywide for Parks since 2012
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz highlighted the tremendous investment his administration has made in the Erie County Parks System including a focus on Chestnut Ridge Park. Specifically, the Poloncarz administration has invested more than $8 million in total for capital improvements across the Erie County Parks System (“Parks”), including nearly $1.3 million into Chestnut Ridge Park alone.
“This is another busy year of investment at Erie County parks, beaches, and golf courses—especially at Chestnut Ridge Park, the ‘crown jewel’ of the Parks System,” said Poloncarz. “My administration has placed a high priority on improving and enhancing our county parks to give residents the natural spaces they deserve and expect. With our ongoing investments, we are fulfilling the promise I made to improve the conditions of these tremendous public assets, and I would like to thank the Parks and Highway departments for their dedication and cooperation in restoring our parks.”
The County Executive also expressed his disappointment in a recent story published by the Buffalo News, which seemed to imply that the Chestnut Ridge Park Conservancy is forced to take on the role of advocating and actually funding improvements at Chestnut Ridge Park because the County has failed to over the past several years.
Poloncarz continued, “Since I took office we have invested nearly $1.3 million into Chestnut Ridge Park alone with more improvements to come, this follows the Collins administration’s investment in the casino and reopening the toboggan run. I care deeply about the quality of our parks and will continue to make their improvements a priority.”
Commissioner Schinzel added, “I am very proud of the amount of work and current systems we have in place to continually make the necessary improvements to the more than three hundred structures and many miles of roads & parking lots throughout the Erie County Parks system. We would not be as far along as we are without the cooperation and assistance of the Department of Public Works, along with the tremendous work of Parks staff on many of the locations we are talking about today. The commitment from the administration has been instrumental in allowing us to continually make these much-needed repairs to our shelters, buildings, comfort stations, bridges, roads, parking lots and more. While there is more work to do, the last two years are proof that we are headed in the right direction in our parks system.”
The site of extensive and ongoing improvements this year and jewel of the County parks system, the 1,213 acre-Chestnut Ridge Park saw Capital Projects in 2013 that touched on all aspects of the park. Leaky and rotting roofs were torn off and replaced on the Storage Building and Mechanic Shop. Roofs were also replaced on Shelters #25, #27, #27a, #28a, and #29a, all of which saw improvements to their concrete pads and parking areas as well. The Highway Department helped to facilitate repairs to roads throughout the park in Phase II of these continuing improvements. New guiderails were installed at all three entrances & exits from Rte. 277, replacing old, damaged rails. Improvements to the tennis courts will continue this year, with repairs and resurfacing, along with new hardware, for the eight courts not done in 2012. The parking lot at Chestnut Ridge also will see upgrades in accessibility, lighting, and other electrical areas this year. In 2012, four tennis courts were resurfaced and painted at the park, with new hardware, nets and posts installed, while Phase I of the parking lot and roadway improvements was begun in collaboration with the Highway Departments.
In 2014, improvements at Chestnut Ridge are ongoing and include phase III parking lot improvements, phase II park demolition of unsafe buildings and structures, Martin Building renovations including new flooring, and phase II of mechanic shop renovations and continued work on comfort stations and shelters throughout the park.
The Erie County Parks System is incredibly expansive covering more than 10,000 acres which includes eight (8) parks (Akron Falls, Black Rock Canal, Chestnut Ridge, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Emery, Isleview, Sprague Brook) with Chestnut Ridge among the largest county-owned parks in the United States and a number of smaller ‘pocket’ parks, two (2) golf courses (Elma Meadows and Grover Cleveland), two (2) beaches (Bennett and Wendt) and designated forestry areas.
For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/