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Olmsted returns to Riverside Park

by jmaloni

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Fri, Nov 15th 2013 07:00 am

Community invited to attend groundbreaking ceremony

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will be restoring a long-lost garden to Riverside Park. The project, now called RiverRock Gardens, is underway and, once completed, will boast 13,000 square-feet of new pathways, more than 1,100 shrubs and 1,000 perennials, all of which follow a historic plant plan from 1898.

The project promises to be a key example of bringing back a lost Olmsted feature to the current park system utilizing historic layout and planting plans. It was funded through various grants from the state of New York and the Niagara River Greenway Buffalo and Erie County Standing Committee.

President and CEO of Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Thomas Herrera-Misher, will be joined by elected officials and representatives from the Niagara River Greenway Standing Committee and Riverside Park-area residents for the groundbreaking ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19.

In addition to the plantings, which will meander through the existing mature trees, a new stone bridge and benches will be installed around the garden. The project will also reinterpret the historic "minnow pools" designed by the Olmsted brothers. These plans, along with 250,000-plus items related to the history of the parks, are stored at the conservancy's Olmsted archive.

Once completed, this garden is expected to provide residents with a peaceful place to stroll, enjoy nature, flowers and views of the Niagara River. It should also prove a draw for cultural tourists interested in seeing an authentically restored Olmsted landscape, part of the Olmsted legacy.

Since 2004, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has been charged with the ongoing maintenance and restoration of the park, in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the community. The conservancy expects to raise an endowment for the new RiverRock Gardens and asks anyone interested in making a significant contribution toward this fund to consider contacting the Conservancy at 716-838-1249, ext. 14.

For more information, visit www.bfloparks.org.

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