Chapter Mission and Objectives: Create in the Niagara Falls and the Niagara River region a sense of place through grassroots partnerships, advocacy, and education about native plants and natural landscaping with our focus on restoring, preserving, and protecting the unique Niagara Falls and Niagara gorge landscapes, their old growth forests, and rare calcareous cliff botanicals.
2008. The Niagara Falls and River Region Chapter provides programs with The New York Council for the Humanities, Just Words, Niagara's Literary Forum, and Residents for Responsible Government (RRG). 2009-2010. We will continue prior collaborations and are cosponsoring programs and events with the Youngstown Garden Club. In addition to promoting Wild Ones' initiatives, this unique collaboration supports the conservation platform of National Garden Clubs, Inc. "National Garden Clubs, Inc. believes it is imperative that we support and undertake proactive initiatives necessary for the protection, conservation, and restoration of the quality of the Nation's coastal waters, wetlands, watersheds, aquifers, lakes, rivers and streams for our use and future generations, through educational programs, conservation efforts, increased advocacy, and partnerships with related government agencies, and state and national grassroots water coalitions." (8th District Federated Garden Clubs of NYS newsletter: Figure 8. Jan., Feb., Mar. '09. )
We also advocate for and support the Niagara Heritage Partnership's (www.niagaraheritage.org) proposal: total elimination of the Robert Moses Parkway, between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, NY for the preservation, restoration, and recreation of native plants and natural habitats along the Niagara gorge rim. We encourage everyone to sign their online petition. Additional information: 716-791-4611.
Sense of Place defined: One of the most difficult challenges every city and its planning department has to face is how to create and maintain a unique sense of place that not only supports and encourages economic development while it maintains its commitment to established businesses and their financial health, but also considers how to protect the quality of life of its residents, the little guys who make up the fabric of the city's neighborhoods. People like you and me. Creating a sense of place is an intangible weave of culture (stories, art, memories, beliefs histories) and the tangible physical components of an area: its rivers, woods, monuments, architectural styles, its pathways and its views. Place also embraces our personal relationships and those who think like us, kindred spirits. Wikipedia defines a sense of place as a social phenomenon dependent on human engagement, feelings. This attachment to place, this sense of feeling, is derived from the natural environment, but it also includes a mix of natural and cultural features in the landscape. More importantly, a sense of place is strongly enhanced "through modes of codification in ordinances aimed at protecting, preserving, and enhancing places felt to be of value (such as the "World Heritage Site" designations used around the world, the English "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" controls and the like.") Creating and maintaining a sense of place in prosperous times is a complex balancing act. In financially challenging times, this balance is crucial and pivotal. It’s clear that the city's senior planner, Tom DeSantis, in presenting the Niagara Falls' 2008 three- tiered master plan, understood and gave a great deal of thought to the challenges he’d face in Niagara Falls. In a place that is unarguably the most beautiful in the world, his master plan is an economic development tipping point and a strong reflection of Paul Dyster's leadership, a mayor sincerely committed to including us all.