Maintenance and Stewardship of Buffalo's Olmsted Parks
December 10, 2009
Maintaining Buffalo’s Olmsted Parks
The best place to keep informed over the controversy about the future maintenance and preservation of Buffalo’s Olmsted Parks is through the web site of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Buffalo parks and parkways were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux beginning in 1868. This extensive system, the first of its kind in the United States, eventually came to include ten parks, nine parkways, and eight circles, most of which remain today. This extensive, coordinated public park system has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1982. Drawing national and international attention when they were first designed and built, this unique system of parks serves the recreation needs of Buffalo residents and attracts visitors from throughout the region and beyond. In recent years, the system has been carefully studied and an award-winning master plan for its restoration and maintenance has been created.
Over the last five years, the Parks have been maintained by the Conservancy under a unique public-private partnership with Erie County and the City of Buffalo. While public funds continued to support the parks, the Conservancy also generated significant foundation and other support for the parks and developed a huge crew of park volunteers. Erie County has withdrawn from its role in managing these parks and in 2010 the parks will revert to City of Buffalo control. Currently, there is no agreement between the City of Buffalo and the Conservancy regarding the Conservancy’s future role in maintaining the parks.