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Greening High Falls



Friends of the GardenAerial has new renderings for its plan to remake the High Falls area into an urban green space. Representatives of the organization will unveil conceptual drawings for three installations during a February 7 event organized by the local Sierra Club.

GardenAerial representatives will present concepts for an arboretum on the Pont de Rennes bridge, a winter garden in the High Falls gorge, and a bridge over the falls. The idea is to get people thinking about the gorge's potential, says Benjamin Woelk, Friends of the GardenAerial's associate director of administration and community engagement.

"These are all just one possibility of what could be," Woelk says.

The group does not have a cost estimate for the project.

The Pont de Rennes concept includes an elevator to the lower gorge — and the gorge could have trails, Woelk says. And the winter garden could include a section devoted to preserving native, endangered plants, he says.

High Falls has an important place in Rochester's history. It was a power source for the city's early industries and, in a way, has been the heart of the city. But public engagement with the gorge has been limited, Woelk says. The GardenAerial project is aimed at making the High Falls gorge something the public can use, he says.

The Sierra Club event will be held at the Friends of the GardenAerial offices at 81 Browns Race. Networking starts at 6 p.m. and the presentation begins at 6:45 p.m. Organizers ask that anyone interested in attending RSVP due to limited space. Call (585) 234-1056 or e-mail

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