The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy recently unveiled its latest restoration work at Riverside Park. After years of going back and forth regarding exactly how RiverRock Gardens would be brought back to its former glory, a decision was made to create a series of rain gardens instead of the original minnow pools due to the problems caused by stagnant water.
It was thought at one point that the pools could be converted into a flowing stream, but that plan was scratched mainly due to logistics and costs. What we see today is a reinterpretation of the original plan, with many of Olmsted’s features incorporated into the landscape design.
Soon the garden features will appear much as they did back when Olmsted created his vision (learn more). The restoration of this “missing” Olmsted masterpiece is still underway, although the crux of the project is complete. There will be additional plantings throughout the summer, but we can already see great strides being made to complete the historic landscape. Once the plantings are finished, the corner of Niagara and Tonawanda Streets will be another Olmsted Park destination in the city, complete with “walking paths, thousands of plants, benches and a beautiful arched stone bridge over one of the region’s largest rain gardens.” As you can see, the work already looks spectacular.
*The $1 million project was funded through various grants from the State of New York and the Niagara River Greenway Standing Committee of Buffalo and Erie County.
Images: Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy