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First Niagara Foundation, in partnership with KeyBank, Awards $150,000 Grant to BOPC

By October 3, 2018No Comments


Funds will support the hiring of the South Park Arboretum Restoration Curator, the first BOPC stafmember hired to solely focus on this important project

BUFFALO, N.Y. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the first nonprofit organization in the nation to both steward and maintain a historic urban park system, announced today that it is the recipient of a $150,000 grant from the First Niagara Foundation, in partnership with

KeyBank. The funds will be used to hire a curator to oversee the initial phases of the South Park Arboretum Restoration Project, which was officially launched in April of this year during Olmsted-ucation Week, a key component of 150th Celebration of Olmsted in Buffalo. The Conservancy plans to conduct a national search for this uniquely qualified candidate with the goal of filling this position as soon as possible.

The historic return of the South Park Arboretum has been a mission-centered step in restoring Olmsted’s vision for our park system,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Executive Director. This significant gift of $150,000 during our celebratory year enables us to take a major step forward in our efforts to restore integrity and return historic glory to South Park. Once this position is filled, we will be able to begin key project priorities, which include taking inventory of existing trees, safety pruning, procuring tree species for future plantings, nursery and tree husbandry, and managing the collection.”

Arboretums provide outdoor opportunities for education programming, scientific research and environmental conservation. They are attractions for families, organizations and tourists, while contributing to the improvement of water, soil and air quality, as well as the protection of wildlife and pollinators. Arboretums add to community quality of life, health, and the economy.

The First Niagara Foundation and KeyBank are proud to partner with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to support the South Park Arboretum Restoration Project,” said Elizabeth Gurney, Executive Director of the First Niagara Foundation. “This important effort will not only restore Olmsted’s original vision to this historic park but will also empower individuals to enjoy the tranquility of nature by directly engaging with the environment and ecosystems that surround us. We believe this project will enhance the quality of life in Western New York for the long-term.”

In 1901, during the Pan American Exposition, Buffalo was celebrated not only as the City of Light, but also the City of Trees due to Frederick Law Olmsted’s visionary design of the nation’first urban park system here in Buffalo. Included in his designs was an impressive arboretum – an outdoor museum of trees to be integrated into South Park for education and enjoyment. Sitting on 156 acres, complete with a large lake, tree-studded meadow, winding carriage drive and pedestrian paths, this extraordinary green space provided park visitors with a unique experience – the opportunity to connect with nature while developing a growing understanding and appreciation for trees, shrubs and aquatic collections.

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy encourages individuals interested in the Curator position to visit

To learn more about the South Park Arboretum Restoration Project, please visit


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.  Designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, the 850 acre park system began in 1868 and became the first of its kind in the nation. Today more than 2.5 million people freely use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Parks annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a membership-based, nonprofit, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsteddesigned parks and parkways in the greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the

2004 groundbreaking public-private agreement between the Conservancy, City of Buffalo and Erie County. The Conservancy administers its mission and park improvements in conjunction with its 2008 master plan: The Plan for the 21st Century.  In partnership with the City of Buffalo since 2010, the Conservancy retains responsibility for the operations and care of these public spaces which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America and The Guardian named the Olmsted park system as one of the best parks in the world.

The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:

Six parks:  Cazenovia Park, Delaware Park, Front Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, Riverside

Park, and South Park

Seven parkways:  Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond

Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony.

About First Niagara Foundation

The First Niagara Foundation exists to carry out the philanthropic legacy of First Niagara Bank by supporting not for profit organizations dedicated to empowering individuals and neighborhoods primarily in Western New York. All grants are made in partnership with KeyBank and will be focused on education, workforce and mentoring with limited support for select mentoring programs located in the former First Niagara Bank footprint. As a spend down foundation with a limited lifespan, we will continue to make grants until 2023.  For more information, visit:

About KeyBank

KeyBank’s roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio,

KeyCorp is one of the nation‘s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $137.8 billion at June 30, 2018. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of approximately 1,200 branches and more than 1,500

ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit KeyBank is Member FDIC.