The Onondaga Creek Conceptual Revitalization Plan

The Onondaga Creek Conceptual Revitalization Plan (OCRP) presents to the public and government decision-makers a conceptual plan for renewing the creek and transforming its corridor into an attractive asset. The case for revitalization is strong. The creek has changed dramatically over the past two hundred years. The symptoms of historic urban and rural change continue to impact the health of the creek and restrict the ability to use and enjoy it. The result is a creek in need of new and flexible solutions for revitalization.

The OCRP is conceptual, meaning the people who created it were asked to “think big” and generate ideas for the future of Onondaga Creek.  The Onondaga Creek Working Group was formed to advise and direct the writing of the OCRP.  They are a volunteer group, from many different backgrounds, who live or work in the Onondaga Creek watershed.

After lots of hard work and many meetings, the draft OCRP is now available.  Some ideas in the OCRP might never happen, others will happen quickly. Most will occur gradually and need plenty of community support and patience. Overall, revitalization will take a long time. Yet it can be accomplished, one step at a time, especially using shared community goals and a smart strategy. This, then, is the purpose of the OCRP project:

•           To discover community goals, and from those goals, create a plan, and
•           Use the plan to guide improvements to environmental, social, and economic conditions along Onondaga Creek.

The draft OCRP was accepted by the project sponsors, the Onondaga Lake Partnership, on April 29, 2009.  Chapters of the draft OCRP can be downloaded from here.  Fact Sheets about Onondaga Creek and a Case Studies Guide, describing the river revitalization experience of other communities, were created to inform the OCRP and are available here.  OEI is always interested in watershed stakeholders’ viewpoints on Onondaga Creek revitalization.  Please send us your thoughts: mailto:.

Revitalization is an ambitious undertaking that can not be done by any single entity.  OEI has been fortunate to work with these project partners on the OCRP:

Atlantic States Legal Foundation
City of Syracuse
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County
State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry