BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Western New York Land Conservancy wants to transform some unused greenspace into a multi-purpose trail connecting downtown Buffalo with the Southtowns.

The conservancy announced Wednesday it is kicking off a project to convert a mile and a half of land stretching from Illinois Street along the Buffalo River into a multi-purpose trail and environmentally friendly park.

The land, part of the old DL&W rail corridor which runs through the Perry neighborhood and the First Ward, is currently owned by the NFTA.

The conservancy says some of the land has been preserved as green space, connecting the community with nature. 

Congressman Brian Higgins, who was instrumental in the redevelopment of Buffalo's waterfront, says this is another important piece of the puzzle.  

"This is [a 1.5 mile stretch] from DL&W to Solar City, now Tesla. That will bring the waterfront alive for neighborhoods that were once where people lived, who worked in factories along the waterfront. Now people are rediscovering their waterfront and their riverfront for recreational activities. So, it's a logical extension of Canalside," said Higgins.  

The conservancy says they'll be soliciting public feedback to find out what residents would like to see.

Higgins says he thinks it could be completed in two to three years.