The International Niagara Peace Park
A bi-national approach to sustainable community, economic, and environmental development through education, advocacy, and collaboration
What is the Peace Park?
It will not be a conventional park. We won’t mow any lawns. It won’t have any new baseball diamonds. Rather, the Peace Park is a new name for our region, an idea about its future, and an organization to help make it happen.
When we declare ourselves the International Niagara Peace Park we say to the world that this entire cross-border region is a single place, pursuing a future together, and inviting visitors to share its stories.
All of Erie and Niagara Counties in New York and the Regional Municipality of Niagara in Ontario will be considered part of the Peace Park. It will include all of the natural places in the region that residents treasure and visitors want to see – the Lakes, the River, the Gorge, the Falls itself, and many other sites, natural and human-made.
It will hold all of the stories that we have to tell the world – about the Erie and Welland canals, the birth of hydroelectric power, the flight to freedom on the Underground Railway, and many others.
The International Niagara Peace Park will be our new address in the world, and it will be a new conception of ourselves. It will be a declaration of principles, too, that economic growth, environmental protection, and community development can – and must – go hand in hand.
Most practically, the International Niagara Peace Park will be the organization whose sole mis-sion is to organize the constituency and promotes the agenda for sustainable development in a great cross-border region.
Who are we?
The International Niagara Peace Park is the product of a collaboration involving representatives from the Canadian Consulate General; the Regional Municipality of Niagara; the City of Buffalo; the City of Niagara Falls, NY; Great Lakes United; the Niagara County Department of Planning; the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation; the University of Waterloo: the Urban Design Project at the University of Buffalo, and others.
The idea for a Peace Park is an extension of the Rethinking Niagara conferences co-organized by The Urban Design Project and the Waterfront Regeneration Trust in Ontario.
Rethinking Niagara brought together a diverse array of participants from government, business, the arts, environmental advocacy, academia, philanthropy, and community activism to talk about the potential for cross-border cooperation for regional development.
Sponsors of that effort were led by The Canadian Donner Foundation and The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation, and included many other governments, businesses, academic institutions, and others.
Our explicit strategy, however, is to continue to forge new partnerships and to expand the circle of collaborators whenever possible.