During the spring and summer of 2015, the Webster Economic Development Alliance (the Alliance) began the Webster Together campaign. Initially funded by Frontier Communications and Xerox Corporation through the America’s Best Communities prize competition, the Webster Together campaign is a grassroots community-building effort promoting extensive outreach, engagement and awareness within Webster’s broad base of stakeholders. The campaign is an outgrowth of the Alliance and its unifying role within the community to coordinate activities on behalf of local government, the school district, and private business. Webster Together sponsors events, social media campaigns, surveys and awareness programs. To date, the campaign has collected and analyzed community preferences, and synthesized them into a cohesive set of recommendations that will direct future investment in Webster.
Webster’s waterfronts are highly regarded public assets that differentiate the community from its peers in the Greater Rochester region. Throughout the Webster Together public engagement process, the public has maintained strong support for revitalization and investment along the Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay waterfronts to promote this unique, yet underutilized community resource as a source of local and regional pride. Webster’s waterfronts can also function as an environmental education and social sciences destination to maximize the benefits of this public resource to residents and students from throughout the region.The Finger Lakes Region has an amazing wealth of water resources, and it’s waterfronts are recognized as economic development engines offering a multitude of tourism and recreation opportunities for residents and visitors. However, opportunities for public access to the State’s waterfronts, especially Lake Ontario, are limited by terrain and ownership.
With over 22 miles of shoreline, Webster has just one mile of public access along the Lake Ontario/Irondequoit Bay waterfront. The Webster Sandbar is one of the few locally-controlled parks in the region that provide access to both Lake Ontario and a protected harbor. Infrastructure investments at this park will increase regional utilization of the community’s waterfronts while encouraging spin-off private investment.