Mayor Brown Announces $1.2 Million in Grants for City Parks

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Mayor Brown Announces $1.2 Million in Grants for City Parks

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 12:01 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Mayor Byron W. Brown on Friday announced that five grants have been awarded directly from New York State to the City of Buffalo/Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, worth approximately $1.2 million for major park improvements.

“I remain focused on upgrading recreational facilities throughout the city, especially parks,” said Brown. “The parks are one of the city’s greatest assets, and I will continue to support initiatives that make the parks safe and enjoyable for Buffalo residents and visitors.”

The grants will fund improvements in Delaware Park for the Parkside Lodge, Hoyt Lake pathway restoration, Point of Meadow shelter and pathway restoration. The grants will also include $525,000 in upgrades to MLK, Jr. Park for the Humboldt Basin wall, new statue sculpture and plaza improvements. Riverside Park will receive $125,000 in new landscaping around the lighthouse.

Each grant requires different scheduling. All park improvements are expected to be completed by 2013.

The BOPC will bridge funding for projects through The John R. Oishei Foundation, administer each grant and complete the construction projects.

“The results of our public/private partnership speak for themselves and many consider this one of the premier examples of this kind of partnership,” said Thomas Herrera-Mishler, President and CEO of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “We look forward to moving ahead quickly to secure these funds from Albany and invest in the Olmsted Parks, creating a quality of life in our Olmsted Communities second to none, restoring our children’s future by preserving the past.”

Improvements made to playgrounds, pools and splash pads are part of an ongoing effort to transform all city park areas.

In February, Brown announced the largest investment for playground equipment in 20 years, a $1.6 million citywide playground equipment upgrade program. Thirty-five playground areas received improvements including: play features, swing sets, benches and wood fiber safety surfaces.

The City of Buffalo spent roughly $150,000 last year and $200,000 this year, through the Department of Public Works, specifically for pool and splash pad maintenance and repairs. These repairs include: deck and gutter masonry work, pool painting, filter and pump repair, electrical work and inspections, basic building and plumbing maintenance.

“The Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets is working closely with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to implement these improvements to our city’s historic parks,” said Andrew Rabb, Deputy Commissioner of Parks.