bFLO Times e-newsletter: May/June ’16 Issue
There is so much to celebrate as the summer season is here. We just completed our Spring into Summer fundraising luncheon and have many to thank for their support. We also want to thank Trustee Yves Richard Blanc for his amazing new digital mobile truck and all of the marketing savvy he has provided in-kind! So far, this summer has been a dry one. The weather can affect so much of our maintenance practices. You can help by renewing your level of park pride: put your trash in a receptacle or take it home, keep cars off the grass and drive slowly in park zones, put dogs on their leash and clean up after them, and call 3-1-1 when there are porta-let or sanitary issues. As you know, the Conservancy is a non-profit organization and 60% of our funding comes from private contributions. We are very thankful to all who support us and who appreciate the quality of life impacts we provide each and every day. Together we are the best partnership for Buffalo’s curb appeal!
MEET ANDREW LLOYD, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s very own volunteer coordinator
Our volunteers are the key to our success. In this issue of bFLO Times, we ask volunteer coordinator Andrew Lloyd about the importance of volunteerism and what it’s like to work in a historic Olmsted landscape.
bFLO Times: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you became involved with the Conservancy?
AL: I grew up in central Ohio. I attended college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. I graduated in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a specialized focus in public advocacy, and I hold a minor in studio art. After graduation, I was contacted by the Service Learning Collaborative of WNY about an AmeriCorps position with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. After four years of sitting through college lectures, I could think of no better way to spend my time than being in the beautiful, award-winning Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park system.
After my service year with the organization ended, I guess they just couldn’t get rid of me. They knew I was going to keep showing up … and I was eventually asked to stay on and continue managing all of our awesome volunteers!
bFLO Times: How many volunteers support the parks every year? And what types of work do your volunteers do?
AL: Last year we had 1,759 individual volunteers who dedicated more than 5,300 hours to their Olmsted parks throughout the entire park system. The volunteer groups work on a large variety of activities, anywhere from helping pick up litter, planting over 250 trees, and everything in between to support the “Get It Done” team (formerly known as the Olmsted operations staff).
bFLO Times: Where do you need the most support and why?
AL: Honestly, we need support throughout the entire park system, which includes six parks, seven parkways and eight circles. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has a relatively small staff considering the 850 acres that we care for and maintain. Volunteers have a HUGE impact on our ability to accomplish projects that we would otherwise not be able to take on with everyday park maintenance already being such a major load on the staff.
With that being said, one task that takes up a lot of time for our park workers is simply picking up the trash that is left behind in our parks, parkways, and circles. So, if you are enjoying your Olmsted park and see litter on the ground, feel free to pick it up and put it in a trash bin. With that simple action, you have helped the parks immensely just by that seemingly small effort!
bFLO Times: What can you tell our readers about the importance of volunteerism in our Olmsted parks?
AL: After moving here, I learned that Buffalo is called the City of Good Neighbors (which I have found to be entirely true) and many of the citizens are neighbors to our parks. The Olmsted parks are central to the quality of life in our rapidly growing and developing city. Volunteers allow us to continue to provide the greenest, cleanest and most beautiful parks — places that rival any park system in the country.
bFLO Times: What do the Olmsted parks give you?
AL: As a resident of the Elmwood Village, I am within walking distance of many Olmsted park spaces. After I leave the parks for the day, I go home and shower to get the parks’ dirt off me. I hear this comment often: “You probably don’t want to go to the park since you have been there all day, do you?” To this I will always reply, “Are you kidding? Let’s go to the park!” I always end up back in the park. The Olmsted parks provide me with a place to get out into nature and enjoy the natural surroundings steps from my door. They also give me a place to play the ukulele and feel the sun warm my face!
bFLO Times: Do you have a favorite Olmsted park, parkway or circle, and why?
AL: It is incredibly hard for me to choose a favorite as I spend so much time in all of the parks. I live close to Bidwell Parkway, so if I am looking for a place to lean against a tree and people watch, I go there. If I am looking to relax under a massive willow tree, I go to Hoyt Lake. If I am looking for some serious duck action, you’d better believe I’m headin’ down to South Park to check out them ducks.
BUT … if I had to pick a favorite, I would have to choose Caz (Cazenovia) Park. It offers the most seclusion and does not have a freeway close to it. You can actually find yourself surrounded by trees and unable to hear the hustle and bustle of the city down there. Sometimes you forget you are located 10 minutes from downtown.
bFLO Times: If someone wants to become a volunteer, what do they need to do?
AL: If you want to volunteer, give me a ring at 716-243-1750 or feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] If you are looking to give back to your community, to get outside, and to get your hands dirty, I got you!
Sum Sum Summertime Fun at Olmsted
2nd Saturday Walking Tour Around Hoyt Lake in Delaware Park, presented by M&T Bank
From great white and great blue herons to the site of the long-gone Spire Head gazebo, there are many features to discover in Delaware Park. Fans of “Gala Water,” as the lake was originally called, are invited to view its sights and learn its history and lore during the 90-minute tours that depart from the grand staircase at Lincoln Parkway and Hoyt Lake.
Tour dates: July 9 & August 13
Tour times: 10:00 a.m. — 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.
Meeting place: The grand staircase at Lincoln Parkway and Hoyt Lake
Reserve your spot today! Order tickets online at bfloparks.org or call Patty at 838-1249 ext. 10.
4th Saturday Olmsted’s West Side Bike Tour, presented by Rich Products (NEW!)
Thanks to Rich Products, friends of Olmsted can learn all about Front Park, Prospect Park, the circles along Richmond Avenue and more. Friends of Olmsted can enjoy a guided bike tour, approximately 7 miles long, on August 27, and September 24. Tickets are $5.00 for Conservancy members, $10.00 for non-members, and can be purchased online at bfloparks.org. A self-guided mobile audio tour is also in the works and will be coming soon.
Self-Guided Mobile Audio Tours
Japanese Garden in Delaware Park, presented by Wegmans
The Japanese Garden in Delaware Park is a popular venue for informal and passive occasions, inspiring contemplative thought and reflection. The garden’s tranquil, flowing natural design makes it a desirable space to relax. It is one of the most photographed specialty gardens in the Olmsted park system. The next time you visit the garden, put down your cameras and experience the self-guided mobile audio tour. You may be surprised to learn about the garden’s rich history amidst its elegance and serenity. Download the tour map.
Delaware Park, presented by M&T Bank
One of Olmsted’s first three parks in Buffalo, Delaware Park serves as the focal point of the Olmsted park system. Simply named, The Park by Olmsted, this 350-acre setting serves as Buffalo’s “Central Park.” Park visitors can listen to 13 historic points of interest from their mobile device. Download the tour map.
Row Hoyt Lake
It is officially summer in Buffalo! Be sure to add “Row Hoyt Lake” to your summer fun bucket list!
Conservancy members row for FREE. Non-members: $10 (1 to 3 people); $15 (4 or more people) for 30 minutes.
Hours (weather permitting):
Tuesday — Friday: 2:00 p.m. — 8:30 p.m.
Saturday — Sunday: 1:00 p.m. — 7:00 p.m.
Splish Splash Summer Bash 2016
On Saturday, June 25, Splish Splash Summer Bash 2016 was held at Martin Luther King Jr. Park splash pad, a designated BlueCross BlueShield Healthy Zone. Special thanks to Mayor Byron Brown, Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes, and Julie Snyder, Vice President, Corporate Relations from BlueCross BlueShield of WNY for making this event a success! We must also thank Ashker’s Juice Bar & Bistro, James Desiderio Produce and the Police Athletic League for generously providing their time and in-kind donations to make this event another one to remember. To view more splish splash photos, click here.
Splash Pad Hours (weather dependent):
From now till September 5, 2016 (Labor Day)
Monday – Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
For more information regarding city pools and splash pad schedules, please call the Supervisor of Rinks and Pools at (716) 851–5998 or visit ci.buffalo.ny.us
2nd Annual Spring into Summer Fundraising Luncheon
Hats off and special thanks to everyone who joined us on Thursday, June 16 for the 2nd annual Spring into Summer fundraising luncheon at Kleinhans Music Hall. Thank you for giving back to your Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and for lovin’ your Olmsted parks! Click here to watch a photo video that includes our generous guests with their fabulous fascinators and bow ties.
Jordan Lema, president and CEO of Lemur Studios, has captured breathtaking video footage of Olmsted’s masterpiece and asked park users what the Olmsted parks give them. This beautiful video can be viewed here (below) and also found on the Conservancy’s website. The ultimate Olmsted Angel, thank you for giving back to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy like you do Jordan!
OLMSTED ANGEL: Jordan Lema, Lemur Studios
bFLO Times: How did you initially become involved with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy?
JL: I went to Nichols High School. We used the parks all the time. Years later, while attending Canisius College, I lived on Woodward Avenue. I could jump the fence in my backyard to an apartment building’s parking lot, then cross the street and be in Delaware Park. Many years after that, I now live and work on Amherst Street. All my life, I’ve been right next to the park … and did not know anything about the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy! My dear friend, Jonathan Casey, got me involved with making a video for the Olmsted parks FLO Gala almost three years ago now and I’m hooked!
bFLO Times: Since becoming involved with the Conservancy, what have you learned about the organization or the park system and what do people need to know?
JL: The people of WNY need to know that our Olmsted parks are special, they’re world renowned, they take a lot of work to maintain, and 40% of their annual budget comes from the city. Far too many people are unaware that these parks (people’s playgrounds, date destinations, relaxation zones, and sports fields) are part of a system that makes this city amazing. These people are also unaware that the Conservancy needs their help.
bFLO Times: You donate a tremendous amount of time to the Conservancy. Why do you give back like you do?
JL: Helping the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy makes Buffalo a better place. It makes my neighborhood more beautiful, it makes my commutes more enjoyable, and it’s everyone’s favorite place to unwind. Time spent giving back, while physically and mentally taxing, is still a day in the park! The Conservancy needs not only the generous support of corporations and private benefactors, but it also needs to reach the two million people who use the parks annually. Lemur Studios is here to help spread the Conservancy’s message with our videos!
bFLO Times: In your videos, you ask park users what the parks give them. Can you tell us what the Olmsted parks give you?
JL: The park gives me … a video studio! Shooting video in the parks is easy with so much activity and beauty all around. There are so many gorgeous backgrounds for our interviews and the weather has even held out for our production schedules! When I’m not holding a camera, the parks are my sunshine, my bike paths, and my lunch spot.
bFLO Times: You’ve captured beautiful footage of our award-winning Olmsted park system. Do you have a favorite park, parkway or circle?
JL: Delaware Park is my neighborhood park and the Japanese Garden is part of my bike route to Wegmans. My new second favorite is South Park. The back side of the golf course is pretty quiet and isolated. I’ll definitely have to go back for a walk there when I have some time to relax.
bFLO Times: Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
JL: Over the past couple of years, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has made major efforts in creating a strong digital presence. They now have a great website from Parkway Digital (formerly known as Reilley Design Studio), a full roster of growing social media accounts, thanks to Maureen Hanagan and Zhi Ting Phua, an amazing digital billboard campaign, and some great videos! Help their digital presence grow by liking and sharing all the great media this team is producing. Thanks for loving your Olmsted parks!
FEATURED PARK: Front Park
The site where Front Park stands now was originally used by Native Americans before colonial settlement for its expansive view of Lake Erie. When Buffalo was founded, the whole escarpment stretching along the Niagara River was known as The Terrace. Olmsted wanted to take advantage of the area’s spectacular vistas and so designated Front Park as one of the three original parks in his plan for the country’s first urban parks system. Known back then as simply The Front, the park was completed in 1878. It was the most visited park in Buffalo in its first decades due to its closer proximity to the more populated areas of the city and public transportation at the time.
- In August 1897, Front Park hosted the 31st Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of veteran Union soldiers of the Civil War. 45,000 veterans flocked to the park for the massive gathering, which was also attended by President William McKinley.
- In 1842, the United States built Fort Porter on the site of Fort Suppose, a French encampment. Fort Porter stood right next to Front Park in the park’s earlier years and park users were able to walk the fort grounds freely. However, Fort Porter was demolished in 1926 to make way for the Peace Bridge.
- The cannons gracing Front Park’s terrace are called Parrott Rifles, named after their inventor, Robert Parker Parrott. They were manufactured at West Point Foundry in Cold Springs, New York, are 11 1/2 feet long and weigh almost five tons.
PARK TOPICS & PROJECTS
Pergola at the Rose Garden in Delaware Park Restoration: Project completed
Goal of project: To restore the pergola as close as possible to its original design, and at the same time strengthen the structure to ensure that the pergola will last well into its second century.
Background: Originally built in 1917, the new columns are the fourth set to be on the pergola. The 1950s renovation installed brick piers in place of the columns. The brick piers were replaced in a renovation for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976. The columns used at that time, however, were historically inaccurate. The new columns are an exact restoration of the originals.
- Replacement of all 36 columns
- Significant structural repairs hidden beneath the exterior
- Extensive carpentry repairs
- New coat of paint
- Replacement of tiled floor
- Composite material designed to resist water and wear and tear
Marcy Casino Proposal:
Public input and informational meeting details to be announced later this month
Ash Trees in Our Olmsted Parks:
On June 6, we were honored to have Senator Charles E. Schumer with us at Delaware Park to share his stand on the ash tree crisis throughout Western New York and plans to combat the emerald ash borers. To read the official press release, click here.
Route 198/Scajaquada Expressway:
To read the Conservancy’s position statement, click here.
Route 33/Kensington Expressway (originally Humboldt Pkwy):
Earlier this year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than $112 million for major transportation projects in Western New York, of which $30 million will be allocated to the Scajaquada Expressway and $6 million for environmental and design assessment along the Kensington Expressway. To read entire press release, click here.
Jack Nicklaus Golf Course Proposal:
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the City of Buffalo are currently reviewing the proposal that was presented on June 16, 2016.
Cazenovia Park Bathroom Shelter: Ongoing project
Goal of project: To renovate and restore the Shelter House, provide handicap-accessible restroom facilities and offer an accessible entrance to the building. New replacement window sash and doors will restore the historic appearance of the shelter, as will the new roof which will be a replica of the original red slate roof. The exterior wood trim will be painted to match the colors of the original paint scheme.
Background: The shelter house was built in 1902 and designed by Green & Wicks, perhaps the most well-known architectural firm of that time. Green & Wicks had just completed the Marcy Casino in Delaware Park for the Pan American Exposition and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery was under construction.
Duration: The construction period will be scheduled for four months with the intent to complete before winter.
Thanks for lovin’ your Olmsted Parks!
The parks are for everyone to enjoy, please continue to love our award-winning parks and remember to:
- Leash your dog and clean up after them too.
- Tote or take your trash.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2016 SPONSORS
IN PROUD PARTNERSHIP WITH:
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