The Western New York Environmental Alliance is an umbrella group that is committed to the preservation and restoration of our regional environment. The work of the Alliance takes place in Working Groups focused on environmental topics.
To get involved with parks and recreation issues in Western New York, read on to learn more, join the Working Group listserv, and come to a meeting.
- Creating a regional stewardship and maintenance plan for parks;
- Increasing advocacy for parks and green spaces.
In 2013, all Parks and Recreation Working Group Meetings will be hosted at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo at Larkin Exchange, 726 Exchange St., Suite 525 in Buffalo, NY. GrowWNY calendar
Working Group Chair
Brian Dold, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
OUR WESTERN NEW YORK HERITAGE
The Western New York region is blessed with a wealth of natural resources. Nowhere are these resources better experienced than at any one of our hundreds of parks.
Our region’s landscape, carved out by glaciers during the ice age includes deep caverns like Watkins Glen in Genesee County, large bodies of water like the Great Lakes and acres of woodlands such as the old growth forest in Allegany State Park.
The City of Buffalo is home to one of the oldest park systems in the country, the Olmsted Parks System, conceived and built by the legendary landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. In addition to Niagara Falls State Park, also designed by Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux, Western New York boasts 29 State Parks.
PARKS AND RECREATION TODAY
Today in Western New York there are a number of organizations and coalitions working to restore and preserve our parks. Together they face the overarching challenge that there is currently no comprehensive plan for all of the region’s parks. Such a plan is necessary in order to help policy makers allocate needed resources to existing parks, create new parks, and help people recognize the regional importance of parks.
Members of the Western New York Environmental Alliance which includes representatives from regional park systems, government and nonprofit partners have pledged to work together to develop a comprehensive plan. This will include:
- An inventory of existing parks and park connections, as well as potential park spaces;
- A review of regional park plans from around the United States to help inform our process; and,
- Recommendations for stewardship strategies and ways to increase connectivity.
In addition to this planning effort, there are several exciting initiatives going on throughout Western New York to preserve existing and historic parks, to revitalize our waterfront by transforming abandoned industrial sites into parks, and to create community gardens and parks in distressed neighborhoods.
What Can I do to Make a Difference?
It almost sounds too easy, but the most important thing you can do is to get out and enjoy our beautiful parks. Parks that are used often and well-loved are much more likely to be well-maintained community assets.
The Go Outside map on this website can help you find a park to go enjoy today!
Pick a Park to Support
If you have a favorite park, volunteer your time or make a donation to a ‘friends of the park’ support group. Watch for clean-up, tree planting or community garden volunteer opportunities.
Search the Get Involved section of this website, or contact a group directly to join their mailing list so you can be notified of upcoming events and how you can help.