Niagara Falls Reporter
Home | Archive / Search
JUNE 30 - JULY 08, 2015

State Parks Fills Niagara Gorge With Junk... Or is it "Art"?

By James Hufnagel

JUNE 30, 2015

A large picnic area, deep in the formerly natural Niagara Gorge, courtesy of the NYS Office of Parks, Wreckreation and Historic Preservation.
Hint: when having a cook-out in the Niagara Gorge, don't forget charcoal, lighter fluid and matches.
A new stairway in the gorge near Artpark, installed by State Parks, blends in nicely with the gorge scenery, don't you think?

Even though three international bridges, two hydropower dams, an observation tower, a boat yard, the remnants of a railroad and its platforms, jet boats, Homeland Security signage, numerous invasive species and an overhead cable car clutter up the place, it's still possible to experience awe and wonder while hiking through parts of the Niagara Gorge.

Here and there, magical places along its seven-mile length remain unspoiled. Raging rapids, thick forest and soaring rock walls combine to overwhelm the senses and evoke feelings of amazement that such natural beauty exists right here in our own backyard.

Unfortunately, however, ill-considered encroachments on the ancient landscape of the Niagara Gorge being perpetrated by its supposed steward, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Places, threaten to further detract from what's left of nature down there. It seems that they're determined to transform the Niagara Gorge into some kind of domesticated venue resembling a neighborhood park... or is the state agency making a subtle artistic statement?

Outdoor enthusiasts enter the Niagara Gorge at the Artpark trailhead on a lengthy suburban driveway of freshly-laid crushed stone. At the very spot where Niagara Falls got its start 12,000 years ago, a relative trickle only 35 feet high, a large boulder is painted black for reasons unknown, framed at ground-level around its perimeter with two-by-fours.

 Further on, a crude inlaid stone-slab stairway with ugly plywood railing extends just 30 feet or so down off the trail, serving little purpose other than to hasten erosion.

 The piece de resistance, however, is ahead on the upper trail. Ten minutes into the gorge you come upon, inexplicably, surrounded on all sides by nature's glory, a lone charcoal grill situated in the middle of a large gravel (picnic?) area, offset by a garbage can.

Is this tableau another example of Artpark avant-garde? Perhaps a stage for offbeat performance art - we can see it now - as part of their summer internship, art majors grilling burgers in the middle of the Niagara Gorge, entitled "The Banality of Human Activity in the Midst of Nature's Splendor".





Hornblower Operation a Pleasant Sight For One Veteran Newspaperman Here
Parking Plan Will Not be Approved Until After Election Council Majority Say; Meanwhile Dyster plans second RFP with more meters in city
'Just Walking in the Rain,' Choolokian Gets Signatures, Makes New Friends Everywhere
Librarian Petrazzoullo Joins Flight Away From Declining City, Region
Schoellkopf Health Center Residents Welcome New Accommodations
Catchpole Continuing Crusade Against Lewiston's Clay Trucks
Sheriff's Work Release Program Stands in Sharp Contrast to Flawed Welfare Work Program
Conrad Gives His Point of View
DEC Releases Final Northern Cricket Frog Recovery Plan to Restore Amphibian's Population
As Recycling Industry Crumbles Nationally Dyster's Plan Here Becomes More Bizarre
Take my City Hall Seriously Please
Feds Interviewing Witnesses In Lockport Asbestos Investigation
Preserve Our Parks Launches Campaign Opposing Zip Line
Canadian Zip Lines to Trash Niagara Gorge, State Parks taking notes
State Parks Fills Niagara Gorge With Junk... Or is it "Art"?
Hamister Has Building Permit, Still Seeking Financing
And the Grass Don't Pay No Mind... Tall grass in Jayne Park no 'high' for Island residents
What to Look for in the Hamister Hotel
Accardo Calls for Action on City's Abandoned Housing Problem
Use of Casino Revenue
Mercy Flight May Come to Niagara Air Reserve Station
It's a Sweet World If You're In With the 'In' Crowd. In North Tonawanda at least.: By Sweeney Payne
Lorigo, County Lawmakers Address Financial Crisis at ECC
Letters to the Editor
How Russia Got 1/5th of Your Uranium and the Clinton Foundation Received Mega Millions
City Hall Jokes
A Change of Pace - The Lifting of the Veil - A Misty Divulgence: By Uncle Guy A. Gator
Dyke--Ster, a Stunning Creation of the Master, Skrlinl

Contact Info

©2014 The Niagara Falls Reporter Inc.
POB 3083, Niagara Falls, N.Y. 14304
Phone: (716) 284-5595

Publisher and Editor in Chief: Frank Parlato
Managing Editor: Dr. Chitra Selvaraj
Senior Editor: Tony Farina