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Olmsted's South Park Arboretum announces accreditation and restoration project news


Fri, Apr 28th 2023 02:50 pm

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy (BOPC) made two announcements regarding the South Park Arboretum as part of its Arbor Day celebrations.

The first of the announcements is that the South Park Arboretum has secured Level One Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. The accreditation is awarded for achieving standards of professional practice deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.

A press release noted, “The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Buffalo Olmsted’s South Park Arboretum is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants!”

Secondly, BOPC is announcing that Hoerr Schaudt will produce the conceptual design work for the proposed South Park Arboretum nursery complex.

The press release added, “Hoerr Schaudt’s work will contribute toward BOPC’s vision of restoring the South Park Arboretum while creating a new community gateway to South Park on the Ridge Road corridor. The South Park Arboretum nursery complex will welcome the public into the arboretum, and will include a tree and woody shrub container nursery, equipment storage, educational spaces, and offices for the curator, operations staff and future team members.”

The development of the South Park Arboretum nursery complex is part of the second phase of a comprehensive, long-term, 11-phased project. The overall project will see the historic arboretum restored to a significant cultural landscape with a design inspired by the original plans of Frederick Law Olmsted.

“With today’s announcements, the South Park Arboretum is proudly reflecting BOPC’s mission to steward the City of Buffalo’s historic Olmsted park and parkway system to welcome and benefit all,” Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt said. “We are truly fortunate to have one of the few Olmsted designed arboreta here in Buffalo, and, as such, it is vital we restore it and care for it for all who visit to enjoy. It is truly exciting to see the restoration vision coming to life.”

Arboretum Curator Margaret Lapp said, “Together with the Hoerr Schaudt conceptual design team, BOPC will uphold the historical legacy and design principles of Frederick Law Olmsted in the creation of a nursery complex. Celebrating the diversity of our neighbors and the biodiversity of our newly proposed container nursery, South Park Arboretum will continue to be cherished for the public health and community asset that it affords all. Earning the distinction as a Level one ArbNet-accredited arboretum will further strengthen our national and global ties to the arboreta and botanical garden communities, aiding in our ever-increasing pursuit of knowledge surrounding the power of connecting people and plants.”

Principal Stan Szwalek, PLA, said, “On behalf of Hoerr Schaudt, we’re thrilled to be the landscape architect selected for the South Park Arboretum nursery complex. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to a park with such a historic legacy, and we will strive to best uphold the Olmsted intention and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s vision. Through Hoerr Schaudt’s work centered around horticulture, we envision a design that will leverage the connection of people and nature to its fullest extent. Our team and design partners are excited for the future of the South Park Arboretum and the transformation this project will bring to the Buffalo community.”

This announcement is the culminating event of “Olmsted Week,” celebrating Earth Day, Olmsted’s 201st birthday, and Arbor Day.

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