Nature View Park

Early winter in the park.

Early winter in the park.

On Monday, March 20, 2006, the Western New York Land Conservancy finalized the permanent protection of a 1,254 acre natural park in the midst of Western New York’s second most populated community, Amherst. The Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the park which is owned by the Town of Amherst. The park – with its vast forests, fields, creeks, and trail system – is an enormous asset that enhances the community’s quality of life, and is the Land Conservancy’s largest protected property.

Prior to this, the future of this former agricultural land was in jeopardy. In the 1970s an incinerator was planned for this site. With bulldozers already beginning to clear the land, the project was prevented by a court injunction filed by a group of neighbors. Rapid urban development soon made this land the largest undeveloped green space left in Amherst. In the 1990s a golf course was proposed for the site. After a series of public hearings with impassioned and carefully researched appeals, again by neighbors, this plan was stopped. In its place, residents asked for it to be a park, forever wild.

The eventual protection of Nature View Park was a grassroots effort accomplished by ten years of hard work, teenagers that cared enough to go door-to-door with petitions, residents that spoke up at public hearings, and neighbors that held meetings in living rooms and around kitchen tables. The passion of these neighbors would translate into the bipartisan support that elected officials needed to finalize the creation of the park.

Volunteers at the park.

Volunteers at the park.