Buffalo, New York – ( release) Imagine if someone took a spray can to one of Van Gogh’s masterpieces. That’s essentially what happened in Delaware Park earlier this week when vandals attempted to ruin one of the most cherished treasures in the region. About 100 teenagers and young adults created thousands of dollars in damages, leaving the park in disrepair just before its busiest season.
According to Thomas Herrera-Mishler, CEO of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the damage to the parks quieted his otherwise hard-working and enthusiastic staff. “We were all very discouraged,” said Herrera-Mishler. “We get a lot done on a very tight budget and to have someone maliciously vandalize it – was shocking and sad.”
But a quick and compassionate response from numerous small donors, HSBC Bank and Labatt USA provided a boost to morale. Within hours of news reports at local media outlets, small donations began pouring in.
Then came the phone call from Labatt USA. “They asked how much it would take to repair the damage in Delaware Park. We gave them the total and an hour later they offered to cover the immediate costs in full,” said Herrera-Mishler. “The most effective way to counteract the vandals is to remove the graffiti, fix the playground and repair the fountain. To do it quickly and with the help of our community, only diminishes the vandals’ negative impact on us.”
Donations will go toward quickly restoring the damage and to implement additional security measures to help prevent future attacks. Specialized and expensive formulas are required to remove and prevent graffiti on the parks’ historic buildings and these donations will allow the Conservancy to move quickly to restore the Marcy Casino and Delaware Park Rose Gardens before this coming weekend’s weddings.
“Without the money in-hand, we wouldn’t be able to immediately make the repairs,” said Herrera-Mishler. “There will be many brides and grooms toasting Labatt for their generosity.”
Additional destruction has occurred this season at Day’s Park, Riverside, Cazenovia Park and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. If you would like to make a one-time $10 donation, please text the word “parks” to 20222 on cell phones. You can also visit Olmsted’s secure website at www.bfloparks.org to make a donation of any size.
About Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, independent, community organization that promotes, preserves, restores, enhances, and ensures maintenance of Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area now and for future generations. In 2008, the Conservancy released its Plan for the 21st Century, a blueprint for the management and restoration of the entire park system. Listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places, the Olmsted system in Buffalo is the first of its kind in the nation designed by America’s greatest landscape architect. The major Olmsted Parks in Buffalo are Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside and South Parks. Visit www.BFLOParks.org for more details.