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Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Seeks Design Firm for Arboretum Nursery Project

By February 13, 2023August 17th, 2023No Comments


Buffalo, N.Y. – Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) issued Request for Proposals for conceptual design work for the proposed South Park Arboretum Nursery Complex. The awarded design firm’s work will contribute toward BOPC’s vision of restoring the South Park Arboretum while creating a new community gateway to South Park on the Ridge Road corridor.

The South Park Arboretum Nursery Complex will welcome the public into the Arboretum and will include a tree and woody shrub container nursery, equipment storage, educational spaces, and offices for the Curator, operations staff, and future team members. The development of the South Park Arboretum Nursery Complex is part of a comprehensive, long-term 11-phased project. The project will see the historic Arboretum restored to a significant cultural landscape with a design inspired by the original plans of Frederick Law Olmsted.

The selected design team will develop and produce conceptual design plans, a facility assessment, and a general cost estimate for the 1-acre Nursery Complex. It will re-establish an arboretum nursery, necessary to care for and protect new plant accessions, by growing the collections sustainably. Further, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks System is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, therefore all proposed structures will align with the historic context of the site.  The current proposed location shares in the history of a prior facility which housed the park’s groundskeeper in the 1900’s and was home to the original on-site nursery.

South Park’s Arboretum was a key feature of Olmsted’s “city within a park” design which saw a series of six major interconnected parks spanning across the city of Buffalo. Unlike the other five major parks, South Park and its Arboretum were specifically designed with an eclectic collection of trees and woody plants on par with the notable arboreta of the late 19th and early 20th century. Due to deferred maintenance, the progress and condition of the Arboretum declined throughout the 20th century, until 2016 when BOPC initiated the South Park Arboretum Restoration Project Feasibility Study, (executed by Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture). This study was conducted in the hope that the Arboretum could regain its prominence within the arboreta and botanical community.

Interested applicants can view the full RFP and associated timeline at:


About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation, through a unique public-private partnership, to manage, operate and maintain an entire urban park system consisting of more than 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Conservancy is an independent not-for-profit, community organization whose mission is to steward Buffalo’s historic Olmsted park system to welcome and benefit all. To accomplish this, the Conservancy collaborates with community and strategic partners, advocates for quality parks for all, and enhances the park system through beautification, maintenance, and capital projects. More than 2.5 million visits occur in Buffalo’s Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation, and rejuvenation.


The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes: 

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

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

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

Smaller spaces: Days, Heacock and Prospect


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