Historic Stella Meadow Chapel  Photo by Jburney

New Concept Plan for Stella Niagara Preserve

The Western New York Land Conservancy will roll out the new concept plan for the Stella Niagara Preserve in the town of Lewiston on Thursday January 21 from 6:30 until 8:00 PM. Darrel Morrison, a nationally renowned landscape designer known for his ecological approach will be the featured speaker.  The public is welcome and there is no admission charge.

The event will be held at the Lewiston Senior Center at 4361 Lower River Road in Lewiston, which is directly adjacent to the newly opened Stella Niagara Preserve.

People are asked to RSVP by Tuesday, January 19, 2016, or (716) 687-1225 if you plan to go.


What is the Stella Niagara Preserve?

Last summer, after a $3.6 million fundraising campaign, the Western New York Land Conservancy purchased the 29-acre Stella Niagara Preserve along the Niagara River in the Town of Lewiston from the Sisters of St. Francis. The preserve is incredibly scenic, ecologically important, and culturally significant. The Land Conservancy has already opened this new nature preserve to the public with walking trails and kayak access, and plans to restore and enhance wildlife habitat, protect the property’s historic structures and art, and steward the property into the future.

At the presentation, the Land Conservancy will also unveil the final Vision Plan for the preserve, which identifies goals and objectives for the preserve. Through the vision planning process, which included broad participation from the community through stakeholder meetings and public presentations, the Land Conservancy identified habitat restoration work as a priority.

Nancy Smith, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy, said “We are thrilled to showcase plans that integrate input from the community, with the creativity and careful considerations of a brilliant designer, and the magic of this special place.

The Land Conservancy hired Darrel Morrison and his colleague Nancy Aten to develop the Concept Plan for the preserve, using the Vision Plan as a guide. The draft Concept Plan features curvilinear paths leading visitors through and around the preserve’s different habitat areas like grasslands, grey birch groves, white and bur oak savannas, a sedge meadow, and more. According to Darrel Morrison, “The design strives to provide a setting which is experientially rich, ecologically sound, and dynamic, and one which celebrates a unique sense of place, derived from its rich natural and cultural heritage.”


The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for future generations. The Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,700 land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 40 million acres over the last 20 years. For more information on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, or the mission of the Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit

no charge


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