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Follow the Plan for the Parks

By Ian Carlino:

The Olmsted Parks Conservancy will hold a public input meeting Tuesday evening at 5:30pm in the Marcy Casino beside Hoyt Lake.

There have been two public input meetings already, which have inspired ideas for improving six different focus areas in and around Delaware Park. Tomorrow’s meeting is to present what the Conservancy has planned based on community responses at the last two meetings.

“We’ve been really working with everyone in attendance to make sure the plans reflect what everybody has been looking for,” said Greg Robinson, Landscape Architect for the Conservancy.

The Conservancy received a $1.2 million grant from NYPA for the Niagara River Greenways. The grant will be paid in segments, with $400,000 available this year. Robinson said the money would be used for three of the six main focus areas: the Japanese Garden; the playground on Peter Street (near Assumption of the Blessed Church, Amherst and Grant streets); and the Scajaquada path at Elmwood Avenue.

Robinson said the Conservancy will “reestablish the intended plan for the gardens.” They will receive an irrigation system, new soil and some new plants. The Conservancy will also do heavy work on the Peter Street playground, he said.

“There’s a lot of vandalism and deteriorating amenities, so we’ll really give that area a facelift,” he said. “We’ll install new playground equipment, benches, wood-fiber chips and pathways.”

As for the path at Elmwood, one of Conservancy’s main goals is regarding its steep slope to fight erosion and make the path more manageable. It will also remove many of the invasive plant species that have taken over the area, and will put in additional signage and plants at street-level on Elmwood.

“We’re going to dress it up so people will know that that’s the Scajaquada Trail,” Robinson said.

The Conservancy is also considering other possible constructions and renovations, if its budget permits. These include connecting Wegmans on Amherst Street to the trail, as well as asking local artists to paint a mural on a large retaining wall behind McKinley High School.

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