The Niagara Parks Commission has been fair, open and transparent so far in a procurement process that will eventually lead to the selection of an organization to operate boat tours in the Niagara gorge, says a government-appointed fairness commissioner.
In the first of what is expected to be four reports, Howard Grant, the fairness commissioner who was appointed by the provincial government to observe, monitor and oversee the procurement process, said the request for proposal was “complete and consistent with best procurement policies and free from any apparent bias.”
According to Grant, the RFP was open to all proponents, not only those that were pre-registered.
From a PR Newswire press release seen at Yahoo! Finance:
Along with summer’s warmer, longer days and clear blue skies comes the opportunity to experience Niagara Falls State Park in all her glory. Be a part of history with us as July 15, 2010 marks Niagara Falls State Park’s 125th Anniversary! With attractions open for the season, including Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and the Niagara Gorge Discover Center, now is the perfect time to discover the power of the park’s legendary Falls.
Bring your kids this summer to Campark Resorts in Niagara Falls. The park features daily supervised kids activities, theme weekends and not to mention a new Splash Pad.
Campark Resorts camping has become the top family campground adding new facilities each year for the kids like their new Splash Pad. It is located in the heart of the camp. It opens in May 2010 and will run until mid September. Adding hours of fun for the kids as the parents can relax by the heated pool overlooking the splash park.
A bid to remove a section of the Robert Moses Parkway has drawn interest from a few groups in Canada.
Several Ontario-based organizations have signed an online petition advocating for the elimination of the 6.5 mile parkway section along the top of the Niagara Gorge between Niagara Falls and Lewiston.
The Niagara Restoration Council, Friends of Niagara Falls, Preserve Our Parks, the Niagara Falls Nature Club and the Bert Miller Nature Club of Fort Erie all have endorsed the Niagara Heritage Partnership’s effort to have the stretch of parkway removed. To date, a total of 81 local, state, national and international organizations have supported the proposal. The list includes 30 Niagara Falls Block Clubs and several of the city’s business organizations.
“This growing international support demonstrates an increasing recognition that gorge parkway removal has high value — for the ecological restoration of the gorge we share and for the economic benefits arising from the natural world,” Partnership Chair Bob Baxter said.
A new stairway will descend into the Niagara Gorge from a scenic overlook near the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge under a plan to enhance trails and viewpoints at three points in Niagara Falls and Lewiston.
The new stairs will descend about 300 feet to a second overlook above the lower Niagara River, said Edward Alkiewicz, licensing manager for the New York Power Authority.
“The main focus and feature of this project is to have another spot in the gorge where people can relatively easily — because of the construction of a new trail and stair system—get into the bottom of the gorge,” said Albert J. Nihill, associate landscape architect for the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Sullivan filmed two stunts this month in which he used his face-first rappelling technique to jump from the top of the Niagara gorge, near the Horseshoe Falls.
“(Wednesday’s) was great. It was awesome. It was fantastic. It took me a couple seconds,” he said.
“It was one step off the top and it was quick to the bottom.”
An earlier Nov. 3 jump wasn’t as fast because he stopped a couple times on the way down, he said.
Sullivan, a 43-year-old British Columbia man, made a name for himself by descending from high places like cliffs, ravines or tall buildings. He wears a harness around his waist and is connected to a rope that’s secured at the top. He uses his hands as brakes to stop himself before hitting the ground.
Niagara Parks Police say they’re aware of the recent stunts, but aren’t rushing to round anyone up.
An environmental group wants to use Niagara River Greenway money to develop a Niagara Gorge restoration plan that would remove the Robert Moses Parkway.
Wild Ones Niagara, the local branch of an organization with chapters in 12 states, has sought the endorsement of the Niagara River Greenway Commission for its project in the commission’s current round of review.
The proposal — the scope of which extends along the gorge from Main and First streets in Niagara Falls to Center Street in Lewiston — would “identify the current imbalances within the ecological and man-made environments” and “further identify transportation patterns compatible with ecological restoration,” according to the group’s application to the commission.
A couple of weeks ago my family went to visit Bird Kingdom (formerly called Niagara Falls Aviary) on River Rd in Niagara Falls. I’ve been several times before, and I enjoy it every time. If you’ve never been, the Bird Kingdom web site describes it this way:
The Bird Kingdom is the worlds largest, free flying aviary.
Located on the scenic Niagara Gorge and next to the Falls, the Bird Kingdom hosts a diverse collection of almost 400 birds representing nearly 80 species from around the world.
Bird Kingdom’s walk-through & wheel chair accessible environments create an intimate, up-close interaction between you and our free-flying birds, including opportunities to personally interact with different species in our Encounter Zone, Retile Area and during our daily Lorikeet feedings!
The Main Atrium is truly a sight to behold and is a multi-level natural environment; complete with 35 foot tall Palm Tree’s, a 40-foot tall waterfall, ponds and streams!
I know it’s promotional material, but it’s accurate. There are some smaller ares where you can see some birds in cages, as well as various reptiles. However, the big attraction is the “Main Atrium”. It is a huge room that is several stories high. There is a winding path through the room where you can see birds from all angles. The plant and water features do make you feel like you are in a far off land. The only thing that wasn’t right was the waterfall. It wasn’t on, which was kind of disappointing. The web site says that “quiet time” is from 10 am to 10:30 am, but we were there closer to Noon, and it still wasn’t on.
This trip was the first time that we had seen the Encounter Zone. This is a small room with some caged birds. At different times the birds are taken out and you can see them up close and have your picture taken with them. Unfortunately, when we weren’t there at one of the encounter times.
The last time we were at the Bird Kingdom, the Reptile Area was a separate attraction that cost a couple of bucks extra to get in. This time, it was included in the ticket price and had moved. There are snakes, lizards, turtles, and more that you can look at in tanks, cages, and pens. Some are even brought out for you to touch!