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November 7, 2013

First phase of Prospect Point work unveiled Wednesday

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — “When we see these travelers from throughout the world who come here, we owe it to them to make sure that their experience here is a pleasant one, that they walk away from here with a positive impression of Niagara Falls and the state of New York,” Maziarz said.

Mayor Paul Dyster, standing under a oak tree a few hundred feet from the rapids, the slow hiss of the Niagara River rushing over the brink of the Falls in the background, said that part of the charm of the park is its natural feel.

But with millions of visitors walking through the park each year it’s impossible to leave the park in a completely natural state without it showing signs of wear.

“If you leave things alone what happens is that they deteriorate,” Dyster said.

The improvements will ensure that visitors can enjoy the Falls while allowing for natural regeneration in areas like the patch of dirt where the podium was set up, the grass worn away from thousands of visitors passing over the path to get around the fenced-off construction areas.

“Periodically man does have to intervene,” Dyster said.

Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-Lewiston, said that state officials reacted quickly to the New York Times article and to concerns expressed by he, Maziarz and other local officials, coming up with a park improvement plan to restore the “crown jewel” of the state parks system.

Ceretto worked out of Niagara Falls State Park during a nine-year run with the agency’s educational program office.

“Not only did they listen but they reacted to us,” Cerreto said. “And for that I’m forever appreciative.”

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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