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Western New York Land Conservancy to Restore the Niagara Gorge

Western New York Land Conservancy to Restore the Niagara Gorge

The Western New York Land Conservancy has just secured almost $1 million for the new “Restore the Gorge” project from the Niagara River Greenway Ecological Standing Committee to begin ecological restoration work in one of the most important natural places in the world – the Niagara Gorge. 

The Niagara Gorge is comprised of unique ecological communities and is one of the most biologically diverse places in the Great Lakes. According to Nancy Smith, executive director of the Western New York Land Conservancy, “The Niagara Gorge is home to the majority of the plant species found in the Niagara Frontier, many of them very rare. It is also part of a globally significant Important Bird Area, and the lower Niagara River rapids are important spawning grounds for freshwater fish, including the threatened Lake Sturgeon.” 

Region’s First Prescribed Burn a Success for the Land Conservancy

Region’s First Prescribed Burn a Success for the Land Conservancy

The Western New York Land Conservancy conducted a prescribed burn on Nov. 7 at the Niagara Escarpment Preserve on Leete Road in Lockport. The preserve contains a beautiful 10-acre grassland — one of the most threatened natural communities in New York State. This grassland is very healthy and brimming with tall native grasses, giving wildlife a place to hide, eat, rest and nest. One of the best ways to keep a grassland healthy is to burn it periodically.

Daemen Opens New Section of Campus

Daemen Opens New Section of Campus

Daemen College formally opened a new section of campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on Nov. 22 to celebrate the completion of a footbridge that connects with the original part of campus grounds.

Set in an attractive wooded area on the south end of Daemen’s campus, the approximately 30-foot bridge is accessible from a recently installed parking lot located by Alumni House, which opened this fall for the Division of Institutional Advancement, and the college’s Honors House. The bridge spans a small culvert and leads to a walking path behind Schenck Hall.

“This new bridge connects our newest facilities with the rest of campus and both symbolically and physically bridges the new and older parts of our beautiful and growing campus," said Daemen President Gary A. Olson. "It signals a new era for Daemen College.”

Robert And Lynda Engel Make $500,000 Gift To Levesque Scholarship

Robert And Lynda Engel Make $500,000 Gift To Levesque Scholarship

A $500,000 gift from Robert and Lynda Engel will be used to support the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Endowed Scholarship at Niagara University.

Robert Engel is a 1975 graduate of Niagara University and a member of its Board of Trustees.

The contribution brings the endowed scholarship fund over $1 million. The scholarship, established in 2013 to honor the 13-year service of Father Levesque, Niagara University’s 25th president, helps offset tuition costs for NU students from rural communities in Western New York’s eight counties.

“We are extremely grateful to Bob and Lynda for the numerous ways that they support Niagara University, our mission and our students,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., NU president. “This gift is a tremendous manifestation of the Engels’ abiding generosity, which is rooted in a commitment to provide young people with access to an excellent education that’s framed by Catholic and Vincentian values.”

Daemen Receives Largest Private Gift in College’s History

Daemen Receives Largest Private Gift in College’s History

Daemen College has received an unprecedented $1 million gift from the Paul A. Saffrin Foundation to support the institution’s Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement, making it the largest private gift in the college’s nearly 70-year history.

In honor of this historic gift to the college, the center has officially been renamed the Paul A. Saffrin Center for Sustainability and Civic Engagement.

“Robust civic engagement contributes to many positive social outcomes, so it is my honor and privilege to support Daemen College as it prepares students to acquire the knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make a difference in society,” said Saffrin.

ROC Receives Grant to Enhance ‘Especially for Kids’ Program

ROC Receives Grant to Enhance ‘Especially for Kids’ Program

The Rural Outreach Center (ROC) is pleased to announced that it has been awarded a $3,500 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of WNY, Inc. to enhance the organization’s “Especially for Kids” program. The grant will be used to purchase therapy supplies, backpacks, school supplies and winter coat gift certificates.

Located at 730 Olean Road in East Aurora, the mission of the Rural Outreach Center is to assist, empower and elevate the impoverished rural population in southern Erie County and surrounding areas. In January, the ROC will launch its ROC Resolutions campaign to shine a spotlight on rural poverty in Western New York. Several well-known members of the local business and sports communities — including co-chairs Steve and Sarah Tasker — will assist in promoting areas of concern for those living in poverty, such as nutrition, utilities, transportation and clothing. 

Audubon Community Nature Center Unveils New Sign and New Name

Audubon Community Nature Center Unveils New Sign and New Name

Jamestown, NY – Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) began its 60th anniversary year with all things new: a new name, newly defined mission, vision, and belief statements, and new slogan, graphics, and website.

The change was celebrated with the recent unveiling of a new sign at its entrance on Riverside Road, one-quarter miles east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.

President Ruth Lundin addressed the assembled group. She noted that for the last ten years, the Nature Center staff and Board of Directors have been thinking that the name and the logo did not do justice to its wide range of exhibits, events, and programming. Despite focus groups, surveys, and questionnaires, including both members and strangers, “The crystal ball remained murky. We were not interested in taking a new direction but in clarifying the essence of what we provide.”