Following through on a pledge he made to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Erie County Executive Chris Collins has agreed to allocate $50,000 to help spruce up portions of the city in time for this month's National Trust for Historic Preservation conference.
The week-long conference begins on Oct. 19 and more than 2,500 historic preservation, history and architecture buffs are expected. The conference is considered a major milestone in local efforts to establish the Buffalo Niagara region on the cultural tourism radar screens.
The county grant, formally announced Monday by Collins, is part of a $100,000 challenge grant package the Olmsted Parks Conservancy is seeking to cover the cost of the seasonal plantings. Funds have also been matched by the Baird Foundation and Buffalo Fund for the Arts.
"This is a chance to show people what we really have to offer," Collins said.
The Buffalo parks system was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1868 and is considered one of the region's landscaping and planning jewels.
"Our parks system, along with our architecture and surrounding landscape, is a vehicle for us to promote cultural tourism, a key economic driver leading Erie County on the road to a bright future," Collins said.