Buffalo Olmsted parks gaining international recognition

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Olmsted parks in Buffalo now are among the best in the world.

“When Olmsted designed the system for Buffalo, he designed it in a perimeter so to speak so the city actually grew into the park,” said Stephanie Crockatt, the Executive Director for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Crockatt said the number of visitors who are coming to the Queen City to check out the parks is on the rise. This year, they saw more than 2.5 million unique visitors.

“It just goes to show that the word is getting out about Buffalo and how fabulous it is and how great the parks are,” said Crockatt.

A study released from the American Planning Association looking at how cities utilize green space recently came out. It shows city parks can create safer neighborhoods.

“If you’ve got a well-maintained park, that will help with a decrease in crime and graffiti,” said Crockatt. “It gives children a place to play in a safe environment in the eyesight of their parent.”

Park-goers say they feel safe walking around the Olmsted parks and the neighborhoods nearby them.

“I come out here regularly,” said Isaiah Lee. “It is a nice place to hang out, relax, be very creative. It’s just the setting and atmosphere.”

The APA study shows people who live in cities which incorporate green space into their designs have less aggression and reduced mental fatigue.

“it is kind of like a place to just escape from the urban environment,” said Lee.

The conservancy and the city put a lot into maintaining the parks which spread 850 acres around the city. The conservancy has a $3.6 million budget and employs more than 100 workers to keep it up and running.

“When you have this fabulous urban center that’s in a resurgence and you’ve got these beautiful parks to show off – we are kind of like the curb appeal that should attracting people,” said Crockatt.

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