City of Buffalo, UB, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation create conservancy plan for Centennial Park

Centennial Park
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 19:30:11-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The City of Buffalo, the University at Buffalo, and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation have partnered up to create a conservancy plan for Centennial Park in Buffalo.

“A Conservancy management structure will continue the strong public engagement that has driven the Imagine LaSalle initiative since its inception. While Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park will draw tourists beyond Buffalo and Western New York, it is first and foremost a ‘people’s park’. The Conservancy’s board and sub-committee structure will guarantee the park’s neighbors and users have a long-term voice in its physical and programming offerings,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown.

With a $10 million commitment from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to ensure the park's sustainability, the group Imagine LaSalle is working to support maintenance of the park that'll be handled by the City of Buffalo.

“When we announced the Foundation’s significant investment in the transformation of LaSalle Park on Mr. Wilson’s 100th birthday, our staff had already begun conversations in partnership with Mayor Brown’s team to assure that the new and reimagined park would have the necessary resources to be maintainedinto the future,” said David Egner, President & CEO of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “This is the next step toward ensuring sustainability and responding to the critical questions raised by the community during the engagement process. The Imagine LaSalle team has thoroughly evaluated different park governance structures and have recommended the Conservancy model. Along with the established
endowment, we are beginning to assemble the pieces necessary to support and sustain Ralph Wilson Park for decades to come.”

The idea for a conservancy model came from the public-private partnership that took place in the City of Detroit with its waterfront parks.

Mayor Brown mentioned during a public meeting that parks are now more important than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can learn more about the project by clicking here.