bFLO Times: January/February ’17 Issue
In 1868, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux began designing the first coordinated urban park and parkway system inthe country, which led to the establishment of the standard for park design. Nearly 150 years later, every project we work on continues to embody the mantra, “What Would Olmsted Do?” From the Scajaquada Corridor project to improving South Park Lake, we are excited to see passionate engagement and progress toward preserving Olmsted’s legacy.
It has been a relatively mild winter for Buffalo, with hints of a coming spring and residues from the past autumn. For many of you, it is the perfect time to visit the parks. For the Conservancy, another important routine at this time of the year is seed sowing at the MLK Jr. Park greenhouse to prepare for spring plantings around our park system.
So yes, it continues to be lively throughout all our Olmsted parks, and we are grateful to have you on board with us. See you in the parks!
What’s Happening at Olmsted?
Winter Blast at MLK Jr. Park Basin, a designated BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Healthy Zone
Once again, Winter Blast at MLK Jr. Park was awesome, thanks to YOU! We are excited and grateful to all who donated ice skates. Your skate donation will help us keep this fun-filled winter activity* possible and free for the community all season.
This event is proudly presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Mayor Byron W. Brown, the BOPC and Hasek’s Heroes.
THANK YOU to our generous in-kind donors, supporting partners and volunteer: Buffalo Sabres, Darlene (face-painting), Buffalo Sabres Alumni – Darryl Shannon, Hockey Giant and Pure Hockey, Mag Gie, James Desiderio Inc. and Wegmans. Special thanks to Community Action Organization (C.A.O.), Edward Saunders Community Center and NURTURE Academy for your support of this event. View all photos here.
*NOTE: Ice-skating at the MLK Jr. Park Basin is weather dependent. Please call the ice line at (716) 838 – 1249, ext. 17 for updates on the ice condition.
NEW Olmsted Park Operations Structure in 2017
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System is streamlining its workforce across 850 acres of historic parkland. The park system has been redistricted internally to meet the strategic and financial goals of the not-for-profit. As part of the redistricting, four District Supervisors (right) have been hired to oversee teams and to work with system-wide managers and park foremen to ensure efficiencies and level of service across multiple parks. Stay tuned for more details on our operations department.
NYSDOT Public Hearing on the Scajaquada Expressway
On Wednesday, January 25, the New York State Department of Transportation conducted a public hearing on the Scajaquada Expressway (Route 198).
After review with our partner, Scajaquada Corridor Coalition (SCC), it remains the opinion of the BOPC that the project as currently proposed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to convert the Scajaquada Expressway (Route 198) into a Boulevard falls short of the aspirational vision laid out by Governor Cuomo and supported by the community since this redesign and study process began in 2001. View our position statement here.
If you feel passionate about restoring Olmsted’s vision, send in your comments to the NYSDOT by Tuesday, February 7, 2017. For more information and a sample letter, click here.
Our three points of opposition are:
Update on Scajaquada Creek Restoration Project: $2.8 million will be directed to resolve issues with odor, trash, flooding and improving water quality
“Water views and interaction are such a critical components of the Frederick Law Olmsted designed park experience. Today’s announcement is a major step forward,” stated Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
“We applaud this effort to address the various issues which plague the Scajaquada Creek and want to thank our partners at the Buffalo Sewer Authority, City of Buffalo, DEC USACE, Forest Lawn Cemetery, and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper. We look forward to working together on continued efforts to restore the Scajaquada Creek Corridor.”
The 2017 Scajaquada Creek Restoration Project involves:
- Improved trash collection upstream of Forest Lawn Cemetery to reduce debris and trash in the Creek;
- Selective dredging throughout to address historic sediment accumulation, reduce water temperatures and improve creek flow;
- Earthwork and plantings within the cemetery at the Chapel Meadow to reconnect the floodplain to the creek;
- Restoration of the Creek’s banks to address invasive species, stabilize soils and provide overhanging vegetation and shade;
- Wetland enhancement of the former Swan Lake area of Forest Lawn Cemetery immediately east of Delaware Avenue, adjacent the creek and within the floodplain, to provide sediment storage, reduce flooding, and improve water quality by acting as a biological filter;
- Educational signage and improved trail connections to the water;
- Aesthetic improvements where the Creek enters the bypass around Hoyt Lake.
(Source: Official Press Release by Congressman Brian Higgins)
3rd Annual Spring into Summer Fundraising Luncheon
The Spring into Summer Fundraising Luncheon will be happening on May 9 this year, and we cannot wait for YOU to be part of it!
Date: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Place: Kleinhans Music Hall, Olmsted’s Symphony Circle
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Co-Chairs: Janis Dunworth and Christine Wiktor
If you’re interested in being a luncheon sponsor or table captain, please contact Patty Mertens at 716-838-1249, ext. 10 or email email@example.com. View photos from last year’s luncheon here.
The Terrace at the Marcy Casino to be completed in March
It is nearing the final lap of refurbishment for The Terrace at the Marcy Casino in Delaware Park (see photos on the right). The restaurant is scheduled to open in March 2017.
150th Anniversary: Olmsted in Buffalo
Plans are underway as BOPC prepares for the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the historic birth of the Frederick Law Olmsted park system in Buffalo, NY. The celebration effort will commemorate Olmsted’s legacy with a special project. For more information, please contact 150th Anniversary Celebration Planner, Amy Starck, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured Park: MLK Jr. Park
The Parade – later renamed Humboldt Park and known today as Martin Luther King Jr. Park – was completed in 1876 to have a parade ground for military purposes. In 1896, the Olmsted Firm re-designed the park and included a 500-foot-diameter. Now known as the MLK Jr. Park Basin, it is one of the largest in the country, and a designated BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York Healthy Zone.
- Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux gave high importance to parkways that connected the public grounds to one another. The Parade was initially connected to Delaware Park by Humboldt Parkway.
- Following the redesign by the Olmsted firm, the Parade was renamed Humboldt Park, after Humboldt Parkway. This named was selected in honor of the great explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
- After the Conservancy took over maintenance of the Olmsted parks, one of the major rehabilitation projects was to restore the wading pool. Unfortunately, quoting Jane Roy Brown from the Library of American Landscape History, “bringing back the pool proved complicated, however; modern health and safety codes required fencing, a massive water-purification system, and sixty-five lifeguards for a pool less than three feet deep.” As a result, a large splash pad that would allow for splash activities in the summer, ice-skating in the winter and function as a reflective basin the spring and fall was proposed.
Brown, J. R. (2014, October 08). A Buffalo Neighborhood Renews Its Olmsted Legacy (2012). Retrieved January 27, 2017, from http://lalh.org/a-buffalo-neighborhood-renews-its-olmsted-legacy-2012/
Member Spotlight: David Lampe
We are pleased to have David Lampe (DL), a member, donor and longtime supporter of the Conservancy and our Buffalo Olmsted Park System to share his thoughts with us.
bFLO Times: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a longtime support of the Conservancy?
DL: My wife and I had been members of the Conservancy for some time, perhaps from its start (or soon after). She was particularly active attending planning meetings and was a member of several committees of the Conservancy.
I have been a member of the Delaware Park Steering Committee for over 20 years. I was particularly moved when I went to pay for the sycamore tree that I requested and that my family (with Brian Dold’s assistance) planted in Sept. ’15 and was told that the Conservancy wanted to honor Ruth with that tree. I tell people this story and say it is typical of the kind of good neighbors the Conservancy is. I also raised my contribution level.
bFLO Times: What does the Buffalo Olmsted Park System give to you?
DL: The Olmsted Conservancy ensures green space for me, for my neighbors, and for the city. It thus provides a quiet and safe place to walk, play (golf) and enjoy the changing beauties of the natural world.
bFLO Times: What is your favorite park, parkway or circle and why?
DL: Delaware Park is my favorite part of the Olmsted Conservancy since I live two blocks away. It’s where I walk (almost daily) to visit Ruth’s tree and to play golf (which I have done since 1970). In fact, it’s where I taught both of my sons to play golf.
bFLO Times: Why do you think it is important to give to the Conservancy?
DL: Since I am and have been a frequent user of Delaware Park for 46 years, I am aware of the major improvements that the Conservancy has made and continues to make in caring for the park I love. Thus I am proud to be a member of the Conservancy and always encourage new members of the Parkside neighborhood to join since I know that such work must continue and is not cheap.
Thanks for Loving Your Olmsted Parks
Special Thanks to Our 2017 Sponsors
(As of February 3, 2017)
Mayor Byron W. Brown
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