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A New Image for Ellicott Creek Park

By Lisa Litzinger

Tonawanda, NY – The Erie County Parks Department wants to bring families back to the Ellicott Creek Park and Casino.

The long deteriorating park had also become known in recent years as a place for lewd behavior.

But the park, and its reputation, are getting cleaned up.

The park casino has been rehabilitated, and a canoe launch added along Ellicott Creek.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday, Erie County Executive Joel Giambra called the improvements "amazing."

"It's amazing, to see what it looks like today compared to what it looked like before our parks department got involved, said Giambra.

Weeds that were ten feet high. The banks and the shores were eroding. And now we have a beautiful new dock area here, a beautiful new launch area for the people of Erie County to enjoy."

Several estimates initially projected Erie County's cost for the improvements at $250,000.

However, the county trimmed that amount down to $42,000 by partnering with several governmental agencies, including its own Inmate Work Relief Program.

Giambra called it another victory for collaboration.

"Today is one of those classic win-win situations where the public sector and the private sector came together, using the talent of our parks department employees, to make this park a truly more enjoyable park for people to recreate," said Giambra.

Officials said the Ellicott Creek Park project is part of a bigger master plan to clean up Erie County parks and get people excited about them again.