In the case of history repeating itself, Delaware Park has a new fountain that we can all be proud of. Originally installed in 1895, the fountain boasts a 50′ spray in the center and a series of 25′ sprays towards the outside. At the time when this Olmsted body of water was known as Gala Waters, the fountain stood as a symbol of beauty within the park system. Eventually, the aesthetic element was removed, and virtually forgotten.
Today Delaware Lake (Hoyt Lake) is suffering from a series of environmental issues that include stagnation and pollution. The fountain is a symbol of (hopefully) what will come in the future, as it is part of Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy’s (BOPC) plan to restore the park system as best it can. With the help of environmental stewards who are looking to clean up the Scajaquada Creek by identifying and controlling sources of pollution, these waters might one day not only look healthy, but be healthy. In the meantime, the fountain will help to aerate the waters, which will in turn help to increase low oxygen levels, which some attribute to fish kills. The aeration is also a factor in curbing pungent smells that sometimes waft off the lake. Last year three fresh water wells were dug in anticipation of the fountain’s installation. The fountain will also be illuminated at night.
At a press conference moments ago, BOPC President & CEO Thomas Herrera-Mishler, along with New York State Senator Mark Grisanti and Assemblyman Sean Ryan, spoke of the need to clean the waters of Delaware Lake so that future generations will be able to enjoy the resource as it were intended. Representatives of Riverkeeper and the Army Corps of Engineers were both at attendance today. The Army Corps is currently testing the sediments in the water and will have those results in the near future.