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Corporate partners align with Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, City of Buffalo to repair Delaware Park

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Thu, Jun 27th 2019 03:35 pm

Phased turf restoration process will begin next week

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy on Wednesday announced a collaborative effort in support of the turf restoration of a section of Delaware Park, which was damaged due to severe weather conditions and record race attendance at this year’s Corporate Challenge.

The conservancy was joined by Delaware District Councilman Joel Feroleto, and representatives from JP Morgan Chase, Strategic Financial Solutions, Ingram Micro, Labatt USA, Hunt Real Estate, GHD and Curbell.

It was a perfect storm of circumstances on the day of the Corporate Challenge, with soggy spring conditions, heavy day-of rain followed by an evening storm, and record levels of corporate participation all leading to significant turf damage in Delaware Park. Nearly 60,000 square feet, including two golf holes, were affected and will take weeks to fully recover.

Financial contributions from these organizations will support a phased turf restoration effort.

“As park stewards, we know weather can become an extreme factor when it comes to outdoor events, and, as we repair the damage at Delaware Park, the conservancy is grateful to those dedicated companies supporting our hard work,” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director. “When you consider first-responder-type efforts, we thank Strategic Financial Solutions for their immediate gift augmented by a host of noteworthy local companies, and, of course, event owner J.P. Morgan, who has been in constant contact. With these combined resources, we can ensure proper turf restoration while taking proactive steps to minimize impacts of future events.”

“For 38 of the 39 consecutive years we have owned and operated the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, it has been held in Delaware Park. We would not have such successful longevity if it were not for the true and collegial partnership we have with Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy,” said Bob McArdle, executive director and market executive, upstate middle market, Chase. “The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has never been more popular in Buffalo, this year attracting nearly 14,000 runners and walkers from 427 companies. We are looking forward to working together with Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in planning and executing our celebratory 40th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in June 2020.

“The Buffalo Corporate Challenge is an event that our whole team looks forward to every year. After hearing about the damage that was caused by the weather, we felt it was important to help the Buffalo community that has welcomed Strategic with open arms,” said Ryan Sasson, CEO, Strategic Financial Solutions. “When we opened our Buffalo office, we talked about how much ‘Buffalonians’ love their city, and we see that every day with our Strategic family and with events like the Corporate Challenge. We hope our donation will help repair the park back to its original beauty.”

“As Delaware District councilmember and a runner, I applaud those companies who have come forward to assist with this restoration,” Feroleto said. “The essence of the Corporate Challenge is team-building, and it is great to see the teamwork happening to rebuild our park.”

With a “dream team” of corporate support, a phased turf restoration process begins next week and will last through September. The investment requires ground preparation including rolling and intensive aeration, installation of sod on the golf fairways, and a fall reseeding of the surrounding areas with a durable sports turf fescue. The conservancy has been in consultation with Elbers Landscape Service Inc., and sister company Great Lakes Athletic Fields on plan development. Damage is currently estimated at $25,000 for the initial work, and over $60,000 has been raised toward the effort. Any residual funding will be used to purchase turf equipment for the conservancy’s continued care.

For more information on these restoration efforts, call the conservancy at 716-838-1249 or visit www.bfloparks.org.

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