[Press Release] Guestview on 2017 Community Development Budget


It’s Your Action Plan

By Seth Piccirillo

The Niagara Falls Community Development Department (CD) is excited to start gathering public comments for our 2017 Action Plan. Through participatory budgeting, we will decide how to best use United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds, together.

We are doubling our neighborhood meetings to eight, adding new meeting locations, offering different times to accommodate your schedules, modernizing our competitive application and improving our online survey to get the maximum numbers of local ideas and opinions. Over the next five months, Niagara Falls residents will have 12 opportunities to attend a meeting or comment on the draft action plan prior to Niagara Falls City Council and HUD approval. We are taking the time to get this right.


Why is public participation so important to us? Because you are the experts on the needs of your neighborhoods. This is literally your action plan. We want to continue working with the community to support projects and services that add worth to your streets, families and housing values. This community-based approach, especially in recent years, is working.

Since 2011, CD and Niagara Falls Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (NHS) have executed 156 first time home buyer closing cost grants. CD, NHS, Center City Development Corp and Highland Community Revitalization Committee have completed 136 housing renovations, and CD has demolished 101 blighted structures. In the same time period, we improved public spaces like Gill Creek Park, the Hyde Park Playground, Center Court Park and the NF Skate Park. Improvements at 70th Street Park, Jerauld Park and the Hyde Park baseball diamonds are also in the works. Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) are relocating heath science career training programs in Niagara Falls, and youth programs like the Francis Center and Niagara Arts and Cultural Center are being supported. CD’s involvement in all of these projects and programs, and many more, started with conversations at one of our public meetings. Our process, through HUD’s investment, is a real opportunity for Niagara Falls residents to participate, give suggestions and to see tangible results.

The CD Action Plan has a very real impact on what it means to live, work, and play in the City of Niagara Falls. We hope that you will take part in building a vision for our city that we can all be proud of.

Applications/ Citizen Surveys available at the Department of Community Development, 1022 Main Street (Carnegie Building), Tuesday through Thursday, 8-4 pm, or on-line at www.nf-cd.org beginning 10/31/16.

Neighborhood Planning Meetings

Tues., Nov. 1st, 6: 00 p.m.: LaSalle Public Library, 8728 Buffalo Ave.

Wed., Nov.  2nd, 6:00 p.m.: City Hall Council Chambers, 745 Main St.

Thurs., Nov. 3rd, 6:00 p.m: Maple Ave. School, Rm #5, 952 Maple Ave,

Wed., Nov. 9th, 12:00 p.m.: NACC, Niagara Room, 1201 Pine Ave.

Wed., Nov. 9th, 6:00 p.m.: Doris Jones Family Resource Bldg., 3001 – 9th St.

Thurs., Nov. 10th, 12:00 p.m.: John Duke Center, 1201 Hyde Park Blvd.

Tues., Nov. 15th, 9:00 a.m.: Neighborhood Housing Services, 479 – 16th St.

Wed., Nov. 16th, 1:00 p.m.: LaSalle Senior Facility, 9501 Colvin Blvd., Building B

Fri., Dec. 16th, 12:00 p.m. Application Submission Deadline

Wed., Jan. 25th: Draft Plan and Budget Available for Review

Thurs., Feb. 2nd: Presentation of Draft 2017 Annual Plan and Budget

                             Public Hearing City Hall, 745 Main Street, Council             

                                    Chambers, 6:00 p.m. (Thursday)

Feb. 2 – Mar 6th: 30-day Public Comment Period

Seth Piccirillo is Director of Niagara Falls Community Development and a resident of Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Now/What to Do for July 15 – 23, 2015 [From NTCC]

Click the link for the Niagara Now/What to Do for July 15 – 23, 2015: What To Do!

Visit the blog for all the information you need to know about whats-goin-on around Niagara!


20 food vendors, trucks will add to Music & Art festival’s bill of fare

[From BuffaloNews.com]

Live music and dazzling artwork are obvious staples at the Niagara Falls Music & Art Festival, but don’t forget about the food.

Twenty food vendors and food trucks – including many from Buffalo and at least one from Rochester – will be part of the three-day event kicking off Friday on Old Falls Street…

READ THE FULL STORY HERE: http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/niagara-falls/20-food-vendors-trucks-will-add-to-music-art-festivals-bill-of-fare-20150610/2


Lewiston GardenFest Now Accepting Applications for Vendors & Open Gardens

Think Spring! Preparations are now underway for the 10th annual Lewiston GardenFest,   June 20th & 21st

flowersThe thermometer may still be stuck below freezing, but preparations are heating up for this year’s Lewiston GardenFest! Presented by the Lewiston Garden Club, the event is celebrating its tenth year on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21 along Center Street in the Village of Lewiston. Applications for both vendors and for local residents interested in showcasing their gardens are now being accepted.

“Each June for the past nine years, Lewiston GardenFest has been providing gardeners and landscape enthusiasts of all skill levels from across Western New York and Southern Ontario with new ideas and techniques to try in their own gardens,” said Barbara Landree, chair, Lewiston GardenFest. “Lewiston GardenFest is organized entirely by volunteers from throughout the local community. We want to make our tenth year the biggest and best yet with a variety of returning and new vendors, plenty of gardening experts, and showcasing the best local gardens Lewiston has to offer.”

Businesses and vendors who sell items related to gardening, horticulture and the outdoors, including nurseries, landscapers, garden artists, builders, and others which enhance beauty in the garden, are encouraged to apply. Vendor applications are due by May 1, 2015 and can be downloaded at www.lewistongardenfest.com. The application fee varies from $125 – $225 based on the size of the vendor display.

For Lewiston residents with green thumbs interested in showcasing the fruits of their labor, Lewiston GardenFest is also now accepting applications for this year’s open gardens as part of the weekend event. Residents do not need to showcase their entire yard, but instead can choose a section they wish to highlight. Garden enthusiasts and other festivalgoers will be able to view participating gardens only when the “Open Garden” sign is in place between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. during the festival weekend. For more information or to download an application, visit www.lewistongardenfest.com. The deadline to participate is also May 1, 2015.

Located along Center Street, Lewiston GardenFest includes vendors featuring flowers, plants, garden art and more to beautify one’s outdoor space.  Speakers each day demonstrate new and different techniques to enhance your gardening and master gardeners are on hand to answer questions throughout the weekend. In addition, several Lewiston residents open up their gardens to the public.  Lewiston GardenFest is free to attend with all proceeds going back to the local community for civic beautification and scholarships.

For more information, visit www.lewistongardenfest.com.

Niagara Arts & Cultural Center Update – March 2015

Looking to get  involved in your local community? Come to Niagara Arts & Culture Center! 

Help Preserve Regional Heritage and Protect a Historic Landmark Building While Promoting Community Arts & Culture! 

March 12th @ 6pm: Thomas Chambers

American Antiquities are so Rare: Commemorating 1812 on the Niagara Frontier

Old Niagara Falls

Perhaps no other part of the United States saw more battles during the War of 1812 than the Niagara River borderland in western New York State. In later years its decaying fortifications and overgrown battlefields provided reminders of the struggle’s bloodshed and indecisive conclusion.

Tourists traveling to Niagara Falls visited nearby Fort Niagara, Queenston Heights or Lundy’s Lane, constructing the war’s memory in the process. As one visitor wrote during an 1821 trip to Niagara, “This beautiful country stimulates my patriotism.” Battlefields and monuments on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border became sites where Americans, and especially New Yorkers, came to understand why the War of 1812 mattered, and how they could remember its fallen heroes.

March 19th @ 6pm: Eric Bloomquist

 “Creating Borders and Defining Country” 

Discover the forgotten history of borderlands in the Niagara Region. Learn about the impact of the Holland Land Company,Pioneer settlement, Native Treaties and the creationof an American National Identity.

March 26th @ 6pm: Alan Jamieson

Haudenosaunee Diplomacy and the Two Row Wampum Treaty 

wampum rug

The Two Row Wampum Treaty is considered by the Haudenosaunee to be the basis of all of their subsequent treaties with European and North American governments. Find out more about this agreement also known as the Tawagonshi Agreement of 1613 between representatives of the Five Nations of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) and representatives of the Dutch government in 1613 in what is now upstate New York.

Come Visit Niagara  Arts & Culture Center at 1201 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls NY, 14301 

Or Visit our website!  http://www.thenacc.org

Shakespeare Comes to Old Falls Street – Aug. 31

Free Event Features Thespians from Delaware Park in Buffalo

Niagara Falls, NY (Aug. 25, 2014) –
 A live performance of “E Tu Shakespeare?” will be presented on Old Falls Street’s Middle Block, on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, beginning at 5 p.m.  The play will be performed by the Shakespeare in Delaware Park Players of Buffalo and is free and open to the public.  Funded by Old Falls Street, USA, the event was made possible through a collaboration with “Live NF,” the comprehensive program which helps people discover, rediscover and celebrate living in the City of Niagara Falls, NY.

“Old Falls Street is happy to provide free programming and perhaps new experiences for both residents and visitors alike,” said Global Spectrum’s Ryan Coate, Old Falls Street’s general manager.  “This first-time event helps round-out an already busy summer season for us and we hope it attracts old friends and new guests that haven’t experienced the renaissance in our Downtown Niagara Falls area.”

Guests are encouraged to bring their blankets and lawn chairs as limited seating will be available.  Food and beverage concessions will be available for purchase.

In addition to this live performance, Old Falls Street is wrapping up most of its summer programming this week with the following:

·       Fitness on Old Falls – Tuesday, Aug. 26 (Run Club at 6 p.m.) / Wednesday, Aug. 27 (Yoga at 5 p.m.) / Thursday, Aug. 28 (Zumba at 6 p.m.) – All on the Middle Block

·       Old Falls Street Kids’ Club – Wednesday, Aug. 27 / Friday, Aug. 29 / Saturday, Aug. 30 – All on the Middle Block at 12 noon and 1 p.m.

·       Flicks on Old Falls – Final movie of the 2014 series – Ratatouille – Thursday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m.

Old Falls Street’s free activites that will stretch into September include the following:

·       Cooking Demonstration with Chef Bobby – Thursdays, Aug. 28 and Sept. 4, 12 noon on the Middle Block

·       TGIFridays on Old Falls Concert Series – Friday evenings at 7 p.m. on the Conference Center Block – Aug. 29 with KISS This (A Tribute to Kiss), Sept. 5 with Aircraft and Mr. Boneless, and Sept. 19 with West of the Mark

·       Niagara Falls Bike Rentals, located on the Park Block, will extend through October

Other upcoming special events with free admission include:

·       7th Annual Niagara Falls Blues Festival – Sept. 11-14, 2014

·       5th Annual Old Falls Street Oktoberfest – Saturday, Oct. 4, from 1 to 8 p.m.

For more information on any of Old Falls Street’s events, visit www.FallsStreet.com or by following Old Falls Street, USA on Facebook and Twitter.

About OLD FALLS STREET, USAOld Falls Street, USA, managed by Global Spectrum, is a historic three-block destination that conveniently connects the entrance of Niagara Falls State Park with the Conference & Event Center, the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel and other Downtown Niagara Falls, NY attractions. Serving as the “Welcome Center” for residents and visitors alike, the dynamic thoroughfare provides spaces for daily vending and special activities including concerts, festivals and holiday activities. Additional information can be found on their website at www.FallsStreet.com.


Aquarium of Niagara: 23rd Annual Penguin Days celebration

6th Annual Penguin Days Amateur Photo Contest

The Aquarium of Niagara is celebrating the 23rd Annual Penguin Days March with a penguin photography contest. This year one grand winner will be chosen from all entries. In addition, a first and second place winner will be selected in two age categories: adult: (12 and older) and child (11 and under). Each entrant may submit between one and five photographs of the Niagara Aquarium’s own prize penguins or photos taken of other penguins elsewhere. To take photos of the penguins at the Aquarium of Niagara, one only has to come, pay admission and take as many pictures as desired.

The grand prize winner will receive a penguin encounter; first and second prize winners will receive an 8” x 10” unframed penguin art piece from the Aquarium. Each winner will also receive an award certificate, and media recognition. Photographs will be displayed at our annual Penguin Days Celebration on March 29-30, 2014.

All submissions must have the entrant’s name on the back of the photo with location and title. Both electronic and hard copy submissions will be accepted-though electronic submission is preferred. Images must be no smaller than 5” x 7” and no larger than 8” x 10”. Digital images should be 300 or more dpi. Mail photographs and required entry form to the Aquarium of Niagara, Exhibits Department, 701 Whirlpool Street, Niagara Falls, N. Y., 14301 by March 21, 2014. Photographs will be displayed at the Aquarium’s annual Penguin Days Celebration on March 29-30. For more information, contact the Exhibits Department at 285-3575, ext. 211, or email at mpaterson@aquariumofniagara.org.

Make a “Green” penguin with the Aquarium of Niagara!

The aquarium of Niagara is hosting its first annual Penguin sculpture contest. Artists of all ages and skills are welcome to participate.

The sculptures should be made with recyclable materials and can be brought to the aquarium by March 22nd which is the week prior to the event. Artistic adults and children are encouraged to be as creative and imaginative as possible.

All sculptures will be displayed at the Aquarium of Niagara’s annual event Penguins Days on March 29th and 30th. Winners will be selected that weekend and  will receive an Aquarium Membership.

All participants must register their sculptures by filling out an entry form. You can obtain an entry form by calling 716-285-3575 ext. 206 or emailing membership@aquariumofniagara.org



March Along the Portage

The public is invited to join us at the NACC to learn more about the Niagara Portage. The Portage is one of the oldest highways in this country, used by Native Americans centuries before Europeans came to settle. Before roads were built, people had to travel by water to go long distances. Niagara Falls was insurmountable and a pathway around it was necessary. Native people with canoes carried on their backs created the trail that in later centuries saw soldiers marching on it and trade goods moved and that still exists today as Portage Road. This 15 mile stretch of road has over 50 sites of interest along it. Begin the journey of discovering these stories by attending the March Along the Portage workshops.

A special invitation goes out to educators, tour guides and individuals interested in preserving the history of Niagara Falls to be part of this special event. Teachers in attendance will gain access to an online library of more than 100 lesson plans and resources. The lectures are free, and attendees are welcome to come to any, or all of the lectures. Four workshops with prominent local speakers will be held in the Niagara Room at the NACC, 1201 Pine Avenue, Niagara Falls NY. Call 716-282-7530 or check the website www.thenacc.org for more information.

• Thursday March 13th 4-6pm Importance and Impact Speaker: Paul Gromosiak
• Thursday March 20th 4-6pm Travel and Trade Speakers: Dan Davis & Lew Buttery
• Thursday March 27th 4-6pm “I Fear Ye Portage will be Difficult”-Niagara & Pontiac’s War 1763-1764 Speaker: Robert Emerson
• Saturday March 29th 12-1pm Fabric of History: Textiles and the Niagara Portage Speaker: Catherine Emerson 1pm-4pm- Natural Dyeing Techniques Workshop-Instructor: Susan Borden. Free to attend and observe, but if you want to participate there is a $25 materials charge. This workshop will focus on traditional fabric dying techniques and the history of fabrics and textiles that would have been transported along the portage.

The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in co-operation with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, will host this series in preparation for the permanent Niagara Portage Interpretive Exhibit that will be opening at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center this spring.

More Information:

The Niagara’s Historic East Portage Road Exhibit: is the next phase in developing the NACC as a cultural tourism destination. This project began to formulate in 2008 when the NACC and Seaway Trail Inc. unveiled a cultural heritage interpretive panel about the Portage. The panel showcased the facts, and events associated with the formation of Portage Road. This new exhibit will foster a greater awareness of historically significant sites along the route, will act as an information distribution center, as well as highlight some of the current cultural treasures.

The March along the Portage lectures and workshops are designed to educate the public about the significance of the portage, and to allow teachers in the Niagara Area to take part in dialogue about the significance of the Niagara Portage and help develop excellent Common Core lesson plans and interactive activities for students.

The NACC is a 501c-3, Not-For Profit. Saved from demolition in 2001, the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center has grown to become the largest multi-arts center in NY. The NACC is open to 7 days a week and offers a broad array of events and classes to the public. The NACC has taken a positive role in the community as an educational center and has positive impact in terms of economic development, historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization.


16th Annual Kidz n’ Kites 2013

16th Annual Kidz n’ Kits 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013 – Registration 11am – Fly time 12pm – 2pm

Town of Niagara Veteran’s Park – 7000 Lockport Road

See image below for more details!


3rd Annual Gala for Hope Niagara

You are cordially invited to attend the third annual
Gala for Hope Niagara
Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Conference Center Niagara Falls
101 Old Falls Street, Niagara Falls, NY
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
A Wine and Food Tasting Event
Music by Busted Stuff
Tickets $45 per person
Proceeds to benefit
Family & Children