Niagara Falls girl dreams up community park in her neighborhood

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) –  A run-down park in Niagara Falls is getting a makeover, and it’s all thanks to the big dreams of a 12-year-old-girl.

Construction is underway to give Gluck Park in Niagara Falls a new look.

It’s right in the heart Na’Riah Westbrook’s neighborhood. She said, “I always used to come to this park with my friends, and the park was really bad. It had holes in the side, the handlebars would be shaking, so I would be scared. There was nothing else to do, so kids would do other stuff that wasn’t so good.”

So she decided to do something about it. She pitched her idea to put the time and money into renovating it in front of City Council back in June.

She said, “We need a new park and then maybe it will be a better community, because kids will find positive things to do at the park.”

Seth Piccirillo, Community Development Director for Niagara Falls said, “When you have a citizen, especially a young person start with that, that’s really where improvements and good ideas come from. So we’re excited to be here, we wanted to take that vibe and have a community build day. The city is committed to building as many parks as possible and now Gluck Park is one of them.”

Westbrook says a new park will keep her peers on the right track. She wants to build something for everyone.

Westbrook said, “I just want to see it look like something that everybody can enjoy; the little kids, the older kids, so everybody will have something to do here.”

Now, little by little, Gluck Park is starting to take shape, with help from volunteers in Westbrook’s community. Piccirillo said, “t looked like it hadn’t had attention paid to it, which is accurate so we’re fixing that today.”

The city used a Housing and Urban Development Grant to fund the project. By the end of next week, Westbrook’s dream park will be standing tall.

She said, “To see it actually come true, I was happy!”

This project is the 28th public park/space improvement executed by the City of Niagara Falls since 2011.
Volunteers interested in the Gluck Park Community Build Days should contact Piccirillo at seth.piccirillo@niagarafallsny.gov or 716-286-8800.

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