If you don’t live in North Buffalo, chances are that you are not familiar with Shoshone Park. The park sits along Hertel Avenue (near Main Street), but is not clearly visible due to tree coverage in the summer. Shoshone boasts a number of park amenities, and is most widely know for the sports that are played there, softball being the biggest draw. There is a pool, a basketball court, a tennis court, a playground, softball diamonds, a field house, a walking/jogging trail, and future rails to trails connectivity (connecting Taunton Place to Shoshone Park).
Over the years there have been plenty of ups and downs for Shoshone Park, mostly in the litter department. More often than not, neighbors are the ones that have to keep the place tidy. Recently, it came to the attention of neighbors that the park tree canopy was in jeopardy. It turns out the almost all of the trees are ash. That means that they are susceptible to the wrath of the Emerald Ash Borer, a bug that is wreaking havoc on ash trees far and wide.
Now, one BRO reader is asking the question, “What is The City doing in regards to the future of the park?” It won’t be long before the heavy damage brought on by the invasive bug will leave the park barren of trees. From our reader:
Unfortunately the Emerald Ash Borer has made its was to Shoshone Park and the majority of the trees are scheduled for removal over the next decade. It was mentioned in the meeting with Councilman Wyatt that only eight trees in Shoshone Park are not ash trees. This issue ties into the lack of a Master Plan for this highly used neighborhood park, many repairs/renovations have been made but many more are still needed. The majority of investments made pertain to North Buffalo Little League (baseball diamonds, field house, parking area etc) – the infrastructure in need of most repair/replacement is valued by neighborhood residents. Overall there is a lack of upkeep. The park has elevation (drainage) issues that render it highly unusable after rain. There is also a walking track, or service road that needed to be ripped out a decade ago (or completely overhauled). The lack of investment in Shoshone is highly evident with the new bike bath that is been built to its rear.
It’s unfortunate that a park of this nature, that is located in such a tightly knit residential neighborhood, is not servicing the residents as it should. At the same time, the potential of this park is outstanding, especially now with the planned bike/walking trail connectivity. The decimation of almost every tree is going to be a real wake up call for this park. Plantings of alternated tree species should already be underway. These types of neighborhood parks can either enhance livability, or create problems that include graffiti tagging and safety issues – the fewer residents that use the park, the more problematic they become. The state of the trees goes hand-in-hand with the upward/downward direction that the park will take. It would behoove The City to came up with a plan for the replacement of the ash trees sooner rather than later.
According to the North Buffalo Organization, Ross Hassinger, Buffalo’s City Forester, is well aware of the issue and will be taking a closer look at the problem. The City is will do its best to come up with a gradual yet effective strategy to deal with the tree loss (approximately 1000 trees are at stake).