An afternoon spent at Sail Buffalo sailing school is well spent… even if you don’t intend to sail. These days the school, that started with very modest roots, is doing a real song and dance on the waterfront. A recent discussion with Captain Pierre Wallinder was an eye opener into a future that continues to be bright on all accounts.
From learning how to tend to the raised garden beds, to researching Buffalo’s maritime history, the sailing school has become a lot more than what most people see on the surface. One visit yields hundreds of discoveries. Currently a local artist who goes by the name “Cozen” is carving images on the dead trees located on the compound (lead image). A compass garden is to be built around Cozen’s first tree carving.
Invasive species removal is ongoing along the shores.
A new boat ramp will soon be fashioned into an old abandoned inlet, which will allow for a new sunfish sailing fleet in the near future.
Next season there will fishing regattas every Thursday at the outcroppings on either side of the ramp.
A new pontoon boat has been purchased, called The Buffalo Aqua Bus – the bus takes Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) out onto the lake.
This summer, 175 kids enrolled in the day camp/sailing school.
There are plans to enclose the existing picnic pavilion, and create a completely sustainable science center with power generated by wind and solar.
Nine entrepreneurial huts are to be built that will house a series of business start-ups and waterfront services…
…ranging from a café, to sail making and repairing, to recycling and gardening initiatives (see the raised beds).
The huts will resemble historic Buffalo River shanties and are being designed to reflect structures seen in Scandinavian fishing villages.
Insulation is being added to the existing interpretive center, making it a year round destination.
A yoga dome is being worked into the plans, as is a library for researching maritime and environmental subject matter.
The funny thing, is that all of this is already in the works (or has been completed). There’s a fleet of sailboats (including the historic Clara Brown)…
…a floating classroom (supported by reused soda bottles)…
…a small greenhouse, all sorts of small personal watercraft, and a stable of water enthusiasts to run the show.
This section of Lighthouse Park is a beehive of activity, and one that most Buffalonians are not even aware of. Yet it exists at the Outer Harbor, directly across from Canalside.
To learn more about Sail Buffalo, visit their Facebook page.