The Western New York Land Conservancy will host a presentation to unveil the draft Concept Plan for the Stella Niagara Preserve on Thursday, Jan. 21. The Concept Plan is a landscape design for the entire property. The keynote speaker is Darrel Morrison, the nationally-renowned landscape designer known for his ecological approach who is guiding the Land Conservancy’s restoration efforts at Stella. The public is welcome to attend and provide feedback. The presentation will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lewiston Senior Center at 4361 Lower River Road.
Last summer, after a $3.6 million fundraising campaign, the Land Conservancy purchased the 29-acre Stella Niagara Preserve along the Niagara River in the Town of Lewiston from the Sisters of St. Francis. The preserve is incredibly scenic, ecologically important and culturally significant. The Land Conservancy has already opened this new nature preserve to the public with walking trails and kayak access, and plans to restore and enhance wildlife habitat, protect the property’s historic structures and art, and steward the property into the future.
At the presentation, the Land Conservancy will also unveil the final Vision Plan for the preserve, which identifies goals and objectives for the preserve. Through the vision planning process, which included broad participation from the community through stakeholder meetings and public presentations, the Land Conservancy identified habitat restoration work as a priority.
Nancy Smith, executive director of the Land Conservancy, said, “We are thrilled to showcase plans that integrate input from the community, with the creativity and careful considerations of a brilliant designer, and the magic of this special place.”
The Land Conservancy hired Darrel Morrison and his colleague Nancy Aten to develop the Concept Plan for the preserve, using the Vision Plan as a guide. The draft Concept Plan features curvilinear paths leading visitors through and around the preserve’s different habitat areas like grasslands, grey birch groves, white and bur oak savannas, a sedge meadow and more. According to Morrison, “The design strives to provide a setting which is experientially rich, ecologically sound and dynamic, and one which celebrates a unique sense of place, derived from its rich natural and cultural heritage.”
There is no cost to attend the presentation, but please RSVP by Tuesday, Jan. 19, at http://wnylc.ticketleap.com/stella/ or call (716) 687-1225 if you plan to attend.
The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations. The Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 40 million acres over the last 20 years. For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities or the mission of the Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit www.wnylc.org.