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Visiting the Wildlife Habitat at Bergholz: allowing nature to thrive in Upstate New York

Updated on July 16, 2014
State flag of New York
State flag of New York | Source
Wildlife Habitat at Bergholz, New York
Wildlife Habitat at Bergholz, New York | Source
Part of the Wildlife Habitat area at Bergholz, New York
Part of the Wildlife Habitat area at Bergholz, New York | Source
Map location of Wheatfield, New York
Map location of Wheatfield, New York | Source

Natural and cultural heritage efforts in harmony

Bergholz (1) is situated in New Yorks' Wheatfield, aspects of which these hubpages have examined. The village of Bergholz is noted for the presence of German heritage and for many local efforts to preserve and enhance it. It is also noted for local interest in preserving another form of heritage also: natural heritage.

Close to Bergholz's Rohr Street, at its intersection with Washington Street, is a Wildlife Habitat opened in 2000. This well grassed area, planted with shrubs, is designed to attract local fauna, including butterflies.

The vicinities of Bergholz Creek, which some years ago underwent dredging in an anti-contamination effort, and the neighbouring Black and Cayuga Creeks, have been noted for the presence of the following bird species: red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons and black-crowned night herons. The City of Wheatfield has noted in a report that Bergholz and neighbouring creeks 'represent important areas for wildlife habitat and open space that should be protected, and contribute to the aesthetics of the community' (1).

More generally, various American and Canadian groups, including the National Audubon Society, have in recent years been referring to the Niagara River corridor as a 'globally significant important bird area'. The American Bird Conservancy is another group which has been active in the Niagara River corridor.

The creation of the Habitat at Bergholz was made possible by the Niagara County Environmental Fund. This Fund has also offered grants to many similar projects in the area. This particular project was undertaken at Bergholz in conjunction with nearby St. James' church.


(1) Spelling

Readers may wish to investigate further these salutary efforts to preserve Bergholz's natural heritage; if so, it may be useful to realize that in the literature about natural and environmental issues in the locality, two spellings for the village are current: Bergholz and Bergholtz . (Making a mental note of this may save researchers a little frustration!) I have attempted to use the spelling Bergholz uniformly.

(2) Source: Town of Wheatfield, Comprehensive Plan, Environmental Review, Section 7.1 B.,

Also worth seeing

In Bergholz itself, St James's Church, at Rohr Street and Niagara Road intersection, is a remarkable, solid stone structure with a bell monument. The Das Haus museum of the Historical Society of North German Settlements in Western New York is situated on Niagara Road.

Wheatfield (distance: 3.2 kilometres) has a thought-provoking Veterans' Monument at Ward Road'; this includes the display of a decommissioned Bell helicopter.

The US Post Office, Niagara Falls , New York (distance: 16.6 kilometres) at the intersection of Main Street and Walnut Avenue, dates from 1904-1907, designed in French Neoclassical style, with Beaux Arts details, by James Knox Taylor, making for an impressive sight. The American Falls themselves are naturally an outstanding visitor attraction.

Niagara Falls, Ontario , Canada (distance by road: 19.5 kilometres), at Table Rock Point, is a very suitable spot to view closely the Canadian Horseshoe Falls.

Lewiston (distance: 17.1 kilometres); historic Frontier House, which was in its day classed as an outstanding hotel, is one of a number of noted buildings in the Historic District of Lewiston. The United States' first railroad was built at Lewiston in 1764. This remarkable place also has important associations with the War of 1812.

Broderick Park , Buffalo (distance: 32.4 kilometres); this park poignant memories of the Underground Railroad.


How to get there:

A number of airlines fly to Niagara Falls International Airport (distance from Bergholz: 2.5 kilometres) from various destinations in the Southern United States. Continental Airlines flies from New York Newark to Buffalo Niagara International Airport (distance from Bergholz: 30.8 kilometres). I-190 is the nearest Interstate to Niagara Falls, New York, linking near Buffalo, NY with I-290 and I-90 to Albany, NY. From Canada, accessible via the Rainbow Bridge, the QEW links Niagara Falls, ON with Hamilton and Toronto. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

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