What do you get when you cross a float with a flamingo? You get a floatmingo. Stephanie Crockatt, executive director Buffalo Olmsted parks conservancy says landscape artists have this thing about flamingos because they are antithesis of good landscape architecture. It is plastic lawn ornamentation which is not considered good landscape architecture, so they have embraced Flo, and Frederick L. Olmsted as Fla and flamingos. When the Maritime Center came to them with the idea of flamingo paddle boats, they couldn’t pass it up. Stephanie says having wonderful pops of pink on Hoyt Lake was too good to be true and to see that they really pulled it off is amazing. She says they had a lot of fun naming them and hopefully they will bring a lot smiles to a lot of faces in Buffalo.
Brian Trzeciak, executive director, Buffalo Maritime Center says the whole idea of this is to get more people on the water, access community engagement. He says that’s what they’re doing here and that’s why they are so thankful for Stephanie and her crew here at Hoyt Lake and Olmsted Parks for their partnership.
Joe Koessler, president Buffalo Maritime Center says over the winter he found a manufacturer in Indiana that makes the floatmingos that makes these flamingos for Sea World in Florida and Disney World. He says the good thing about it is that it is a good entry for people who have not been on the water before. They are much easier than the rowboats so people will come and rent the flamingo and then they will come back and rent a rowboat.
Stephanie says they are advocating for park protection and restoration and they are maintaining these for future generations so the community getting out and involved is critical.
Brian says they have a partnership with the Western New York Maritime Charter School and those students come in throughout the year and they build these Olmsted skiffs with mentors and the hand-to-hand program in general uses wooden boat building to have kids practice S.T.E.M. principles, craftsmanship and life skills.
Stephanie Crockatt says every single community neighborhood in the city is touched by an Olmsted park so, there is a lot of wonderful cultural diversity; there’s a lot of good feelings right now about our parks and community engagement is key. She says they try to do something fun every year with the floatmingos this year but 2022, with Olmsted’s 200th birthday it is going to be a significant pink flamingo year in Buffalo.
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