The Western New York Land Conservancy is developing The Riverline based on a vision created by the community. Once completed, The Riverline will transform the former DL&W rail corridor along the Buffalo River into a vibrant and engaging nature trail everyone can enjoy—right in the city, only minutes from downtown.
The Riverline will be an inspiring gathering place that connects people to water, nature, and one another. It will prioritize native plants and animals, public art, and community; it will inspire curiosity, movement, and exploration; and it will help build a healthy, inclusive, and opportunity-rich city with vibrancy in every neighborhood.
The Western New York Land Conservancy began working with the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority and many other community partners to reimagine the DL&W rail corridor near downtown Buffalo. Through an ongoing community engagement process, a vision emerged for an elevated nature trail and greenway, stretching from the DL&W terminal near Canalside to the Buffalo River across from the Tesla Gigafactory at Riverbend.
Based on a year of outreach and engagement activities, the Land Conservancy created a Community Vision Plan that includes a vision statement, guiding principles, and strategies for creating a vibrant, safe, and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to connect with each other, with nature, and with the waterfront throughout the year.
The Land Conservancy worked with a professional competition adviser and community engagement consultant to launch an ideas competition for The Riverline’s design. The competition solicited design ideas from local, national, and international individuals and teams.
A jury of design experts and community leaders awarded prizes to their favorite design ideas. The nearly 100 proposals submitted sparked conversations and highlighted community preferences for the design and development of The Riverline.
We are now requesting proposals for Concept and Schematic Design (EPF #180842, DL&W Linear Park and Multi-Use Trail Design). Proposals are due by 5:00 PM on May 29. Read the full RFP. Once a contractor is selected, ongoing workshops and community engagement events will guide the design work. Funding for this project comes in part through an Environmental Protection Fund grant administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. KeyBank in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Blue Fund, and individual community donors.
The Land Conservancy, in partnership with community members, local organizations and agencies, the University at Buffalo Regional Institute, and Make Communities, has developed an Equitable Development Framework for The Riverline. This document is a framework to promote equity—working to ensure that all residents, regardless of race, ethnicity, income, age, or ability, can benefit from investments in The Riverline and nearby neighborhoods.