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Genesee Valley Park West Master Plan

Rowing at the Genesee Waterway Center Photo

About the Project

The City of Rochester Department of Environmental Services and Department of Recreation and Youth Services, in conjunction with the Genesee Waterways Center, Inc. have developed a master plan for the portion of Genesee Valley Park west of the Genesee River.

Genesee Valley Park, one of three original parks in the Rochester Park System, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and constructed in the 1890s. The southwest quadrant of the park was designed for active play and water sports. The Erie Canal was routed through the park (1905-1923) and the park was expanded to include former railroad and Genesee Valley Canal lands.

The Genesee Waterways Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, promotes canoeing, kayaking, rowing and sculling in the Rochester region. In addition to whitewater kayaking at Lock 32 in Pittsford, the GWC leases the Genesee Valley Park boathouse from the City. From the boathouse, the GWC offers various flat-water training courses, minority outreach programs, boat rentals, and is the home of the University of Rochester Crew team. The boathouse has 600’ of ADA accessible dock and is one of the few hand carried boat launches on the Genesee River open to the general public.

By 2008 the GWC had outgrown the existing facility and was granted a permit to erect a structure adjacent to the boathouse. This structure is a temporary solution and does not meet the long term goals of the City or the GWC.

The City, in partnership with the GWC, acquired a NYS Department of State - Environmental Protection Fund grant to conduct a master plan for this section of Genesee Valley Park. The master plan process included an inventory and analysis of the park's current conditions including the boathouse, pool and ice rink complex, ball fields, tennis courts, vehicular and pedestrian circulation, lodge, play equipment, scenic vista/viewshed and vegetation analysis; historic landscape analysis; a hydro-geological study of Genesee River shoreline along the immediate project area; alternative schematic designs for an expanded/new boathouse and the park as a whole; recommendations for historic landscape treatment(s); cost estimates; recommended implementation strategies and funding sources; management and operation recommendations; public input sessions; and a recommended master plan with SEQR Long Form Environmental Assessment.

Genesee Valley Park West Master Plan (final)