(WKBW release) On Monday, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Niagara Falls Heritage Area Commission to develop a clear and aggressive plan to revitalize the Niagara Falls State Park.
After media reports described the run-down condition of the park, Schumer sent a personal letter to Commission Chairman Thomas Chambers, urging the commission to use its authority and prioritize the state park as the Commission develops a new plan to boost tourism and economic development in the Niagara Falls area.
Schumer believes that the state park is the anchor of the Heritage Area, and improving the quality of the park should be a central focus of the Commission’s plan.
“The Niagara Falls State Park can be and should be the crown jewel of our state parks system,” said Schumer. “It should be as majestic and breath-taking as the falls for which it’s named. That’s why I fought hard to create a national commission dedicated to boosting tourism and economic development in the area. The commission is doing an outstanding job, and their work gives us a unique opportunity to address issues at the Niagara Falls State Park.
"As the commission moves forward with its planning efforts, jump-starting the state park and creating a plan to make it attractive to potential tourists must be the top priority. I stand ready and willing to help the commission in any way that I can to make sure the Niagara Falls State Park is the best it can possibly be.”
Schumer’s letter follows a New York Times report that detailed the discrepancy between facilities on the Canadian side and the American side of Niagara Falls. While the Canadian park land around Niagara Falls features many spectacular gardens, well tended lawns and pathways, the Niagara Falls State Park on the New York side has fallen behind.
Schumer believes that renovating the state park will encourage both American and Canadian tourists to spend time and money on the American side, providing a boost to regional tourism dollars. Currently, the state park is suffering from worn-out pathways and railings, as well as failing sewer, water, drainage and electrical systems according to the Buffalo News.