The Stamford Centre Volunteer Firemen’s Association is a not-for-profit organization made up solely of volunteers that began in 1922. The SCVFA owns and maintains the 143 acres of green space in the north end of Niagara Falls known as Firemen’s Park. This is their gift to the residents of the city and surrounding area. We have recently partnered with the city of Niagara Falls and donated land, free of charge, for the use of a play ground and a leash-free dog park. In the past, the SCVFA has supported the community by way of a city swimming pool (Michelson Park), tennis courts, the United Way, hospital emergency room funding, sports teams, and VON car lease among a host of other community based donations.
Our mandate for Firemen’s Park has always been and continues to be to maintain this as an undeveloped green space along the Niagara Escarpment. It is an unrestricted passage for the Bruce Trail. In addition it has fishing and pavilions for group picnics. The primary hiking areas are in the “Lower Park”, north of the CNR tracks. The “Upper Park” was developed over the old hydro tunnel excavation landfill. It has primarily been the area used for larger scale events (e.g. music festivals and our annual Easter egg hunt). An amphitheatre, two pavilions, washrooms and our maintenance hut are located here.
Recently the SCVFA was forced to sell our old fire hall on Longhurst Avenue due to the expense of maintaining two facilities. Our plan was to relocate our main clubhouse to Firemen’s Park. This building would include meeting facilities and a banquet hall for SCVFA events. In addition it would provide rental income, through weddings, meetings, and other outside events, as we did at our original fire hall. The Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) has denied our application for this facility. They are objecting to a 2 story building and the fact that it will be rented out for public functions. In 1979 and again in 1980 we were approved for a building larger than the current application and for the use of banquet hall. The NEC required a new application and is now denying what was previously granted.
Without this source of income, the SCVFA will soon be in the position of not being able to maintain Firemen’s park, let alone provide any other community support. The ultimate result could be the eventual closing and sale of Firemen’s Park. This is certainly not the wish of any of the members of the SCVFA.
After 50 years of Firemen’s Park and 90 years of other support to the community we are now asking for your support. Please sign this petition asking the NEC to reverse their decision.
I am in full support of the Stamford Centre Volunteer Firemen’s association and their mission to maintain Firemen’s Park as a premier green space in Niagara Falls. I would like the N.E.C. to allow the S.C.V.F.A to complete their building as proposed in their application, including its use for fund raising by the rental of the building for activities such as banquets, weddings and other public gatherings.