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The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy holds a special place in my heart and on our client list.
That starts with the fact that I am in the Parks almost every day. I live just down the street from the Buffalo History Museum, which looks out over some of the most spectacular scenery in the City – Mirror Lake with the Japanese Gardens and over to Hoyt Lake and the Casino. I walk, jog, walk my dogs and enjoy Delaware Park almost daily. I sit on the expansive patio at The Terrace restaurant at the Casino and look out over the amazing vista with people from all walks of life, enjoying the outdoors and Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of an urban oasis.
Never before has the Olmsted vision of bringing green space that winds throughout the urban landscape been more important. As soon as COVID hit, the Parks were the escape to sanity that so many Buffalonians needed. Instantly they were filled with walkers, joggers, bikers, families, dogs. Everyone found a space to gather safely together, even while it was still quite chilly, to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
And that needed respite put a huge strain on the staff and the budget for the Parks. People were afraid to touch the lid on trashcans, and refuse piled up next to cans that was soon strewn by spring winds. People needed to be continually reminded, especially in those early days, of the importance of 6 feet of distance, and so staff was on hand and signs were erected to remind us to be safe. Spring cleanups had to be scheduled to ensure staff safety and coincide with wear and tear on the landscape from increased visitors. And right at the moment when funds were most needed, some grant funding streams dried up.
We have been working with the Conservancy staff to find new funding streams and to secure COVID grants that will support the increasingly important work of maintaining the 850 acres of urban parkland that we all enjoy throughout the City of Buffalo.
As you enjoy the Buffalo Olmsted Parks during this ongoing crisis, please consider a donation to the Conservancy that maintains this treasure for us all. A free, open and accessible greenspace that is well maintained is a luxury we cannot afford to lose! Visit www.bfloparks.org and consider becoming a member today!