Stella Niagara Preserve Vision Plan & Concept Plan
The Stella Niagara Preserve is the most ambitious and high profile project in the Land Conservancy’s history. The preserve is located on the Niagara River along Lower River Road in the Town of Lewiston just north of Niagara Falls, and sits across from the Stella Niagara Education Park and Center of Renewal. With 29-acres and over a quarter-mile of shoreline, it is the largest privately-owned, undeveloped tract of land along the entire length of the Niagara River.
Last summer, after a $3.6 million fundraising campaign, the Land Conservancy purchased the preserve 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.
The Land Conservancy has prepared a Vision Plan to help guide our landscape restoration design and the ongoing stewardship and maintenance of the Stella Niagara Preserve. It will inform decisions about public access, as well as activities, programming, and collaborations at the Preserve. It will also help guide the creation of interpretive elements and education components, from signage and displays on-site to education and outreach materials about the Preserve.
The Land Conservancy has hired nationally renowned restoration landscape architect team of Darrel Morrison and Nancy Aten to create a concept plan for the entire preserve, and to restore prairie grassland and a savanna landscape to a major portion of the site. The Land Conservancy will begin implementing the plan in Spring 2016, starting with realigning the trails. Next up will be habitat enhancement work on the Eastern half of the preserve in 2016, followed by habitat enhancement work on the Western half of the preserve in 2017.
The Concept Plan