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New Jayne Park Push Underway

By Lori Lane

Jayne Park has no parking lot. It is a neighborhood park.

Cheree Copelin sets her sights on Jayne Park.

Cheree Copelin, the Niagara county legislator representing the LaSalle neighborhood, has begun a petition drive that will push for a -- purportedly-- soon-to-expire Greenway grant to be implemented, and for work to be done on Jayne Park.

It is a $145,000 grant that must be matched dollar for dollar by the city.

The plan, as proposed, will be to convert Jayne Park, an all-green neighborhood park, into a regional park with a parking lot, asphalt trails, restrooms, basketball courts and a clear cut shoreline to make way for canoe launches.

Jayne Park presently has no parking lot and is used almost exclusively by Cayuga Island residents who walk to their park on the north side of the island.

Many of Copelin's supporters, who do not live on the island, are supporting the Copelin petition to access the grant and for work to be commenced in order, as they say, to not lose the grant, which they say will expire soon if it is not used.

Unlike much of the city, Cayuga Island has not been devastated by high crime and vacancies, in part because it is, although in a densely populated area of the city, somewhat isolated, surrounded as it is by the Niagara River and the Little Niagara River. Cayuga Creek empties into the river on the north side of the island.

Cayuga Island has only one means of ingress and egress and is a quiet, stable, mainly middle class residential island, with more expensive homes facing the Niagara River.

Opponents of the park plan, mainly residents of Cayuga Island, signed a petition in 2009 opposing the Greenway plan and seeking to keep the neighborhood character of the park intact.

More than 370 Cayuga Island residents signed the protest then and plans lay dormant until Copelin resurrected it as she began seeking support from outside of the island to change the character of the pastoral park.

The Greenway grant was engineered based on designs overseen by City Planner Thomas DeSantis and has the support of Mayor Paul Dyster.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Jul 30, 2013