The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, created after the 2014 death of Wilson, the former owner of the Buffalo Bills and a co-founder of the American Football League, is giving Lewiston $5.47 Million dollars for trail improvements at Art Park State Park.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced on Earth Day (April 22nd) that $5.47 million in grants from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation would be staying in Western New York and used to support improvements to trails in three State Parks.

Other entities will also be kicking in cash to bring the total investment in the project to $22.8 million dollars.  The New York Power Authority and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation will be helping to make several upgrades to trails in Artpark State Park and in Niagara County.

In addition to the work in Lewiston, the project will also extend the Allegany State Park's Quaker Area Multi-Use Trail in Cattaraugus County; and improve the Genesee Valley Greenway State Park in Allegany County.

Governor Hochul said:

We are proud to announce this significant funding that will continue our efforts to expand trails and improve community connections in Western New York...We are grateful to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation's commitment to the health and well-being of our communities, and this grant will help expand access to safe and healthy recreation, and boost the tourism industry and economy throughout the region.


In Lewiston, the trail project will include; Installing gateways at the Portage and 4th Street entrances to the park, improving the signature "Redbrick Path" running through the park; creating a sloped switchback trail that connects the Shoreline Trail to the upper Artpark parking area, transforming the existing 4th street parking lot into a sustainable parking area and multipurpose space, and improving the Artpark Gorge trail system including a pedestrian bridge ravine crossing.

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