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Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Seeks Firm to Conduct South Park Restoration Study

By September 2, 2016October 10th, 2016No Comments


BUFFALO, N.Y. – After a nationally advertised search, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) has invited pre-qualified consultants to submit proposals for the South Park Arboretum Restoration Feasibility Study.

Qualified firms have demonstrated expertise in landscape architecture, arboretum design and the engagement of multidisciplinary teams. The study will include a technical infrastructure analysis, site condition assessment, and planning and design review, along with long-term operational considerations which will ultimately determine the feasibility of restoring the Olmsted- designed arboretum in South Park.

The four finalists are based in New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Proposals are due by September 16, 2016, and the final selection will be made by October 1, 2016.

Proposals will include feasibility of the arboretum design with and without the existing 9-hole golf course. The study is anticipated to take approximately nine months to complete. As part of the proposed scope of services, the selected firm will conduct local stakeholder group meetings, and collaborative discussions with the South Park Arboretum Restoration Project (SPARP) Committee, including the City of Buffalo, and the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens.

Project Background:
The City of Buffalo owns all public parks, including South Park, which was designed by the firm of Olmsted, Olmsted and Elliot in 1894 as a botanical garden and arboretum with several hundred species of trees and shrubs, a large conservatory, a rolling greensward, and a lake with islands, all in a 155-acre setting in South Buffalo. The context of South Park itself exists today in very much the same configuration that the Olmsted firm initially implemented in the early 1890s; however, the arboretum collection was never fully recognized. Since 2003, the Conservancy has been evaluating the opportunity to fulfill this Olmsted plan.
The Conservancy retains detailed planting plans and plant lists developed by the Olmsted firm for the construction of the park as an arboretum. A primary change to the park was the addition of a 9-hole golf course occurring in the early 20th century (1915). While the golf course completely changed the intended use of this passive landscape, it is scenically compatible with the Olmsted design style and much of the spatial organization of the park overall remains intact.
The desired relocation of the golf course outside South Park was initially identified on the BOPC’s Plan for the 21st Century, which was published in 2008. A subsequent South Buffalo Golf Course Feasibility Study, conducted in 2014 through the New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area Program, identified a suitable site for a new 9-hole golf course immediately north of South Park along Hopkins Road. Recently, there has been renewed interest in this site and relocation potential.

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About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system, which consists of 850 acres of beautifully designed parks, parkways and circles. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, membership-based, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million people use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Park System annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The parks were designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, more than 145 years ago. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the 2004 groundbreaking public/private agreement with the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Since that time, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, now partnering with the City of Buffalo, has retained full responsibility for the management and care of these green spaces which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. In 2014, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America. Last year, The Guardian named Olmsted’s Park System as one of the top ten parks in the world.

The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
Six Parks: Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo, Delaware Park in Delaware/Parkside District, Front Park at the Peace Bridge, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at Fillmore Avenue, Riverside Park at Niagara and Tonawanda Street, South Park at McKinley Parkway.
Seven Parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond.
Eight Landscaped Circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, Soldiers, and Symphony.


Contact: Maureen Hanagan, 716/909-4454

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