Delaware Park is getting a big boost from Bank of America. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy will be the recipient of a $250,000 grant, which will be earmarked for the complete restoration of the Rumsey Park Shelter – near the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Forest Avenue.
This shelter has been in disrepair for years. For that reason, it has not been considered a public functional public amenity. Over the years, there have been a number of interested parties that have eyed this shelter as a café and/or a wine bar. Apparently, those ideas were shot down by concerned neighbors who didn’t like the idea of the public frequenting the park shelter for those purposes.
Therefore, this is exciting news – even if the structure will be used simply as a “rest shelter”, which appears to be the intended use moving forward. There is no mention about what sort of amenities the shelter will provide. Historically, the shelter offered a comfort station, with bathrooms, and a small main room with a fireplace. It was known as a reliable pit stop for hikers, cross-country skiers, joggers, etc.
“Bank of America is honored to support the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s efforts to increase access to beautiful spaces,” said Kevin Murphy, Buffalo Market President for Bank of America. “Parks are a vital element of thriving communities, providing local residents with free, clean and safe greenspace, while supporting tourism and economic growth in the surrounding area. We are excited to partner with the Conservancy to enhance the Rumsey Shelter.”
“This year we celebrate 150 years since Fredrick Law Olmsted began creating his vision of a Park and Parkway system in Buffalo,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “During this commemorative year, the Conservancy will be focusing on public awareness of the system and anticipates an increase in the number of park users and visitors. This incredible grant opportunity from Bank of America is exactly the kind of corporate support we need in making a difference for public access amenities. Olmsted parks serve the entire population of Buffalo and the Western New York region year-round, and as such, keeping up with necessary upgrades and restorations is an expensive essential.”
“The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Board of Directors published our parks master plan in 2008 – The Plan for the 21st Century – which directs funding priorities of projects across the Olmsted Park System,” said Dennis Horrigan, Chairman of the Conservancy Board. “The rehabilitation of Rumsey Shelter is one of those identified projects. Rest shelters are a key park amenity for public use, and so far the Conservancy has restored similar facilities in MLK Jr. Park and most recently in Cazenovia Park. We are grateful to Bank of America for the opportunity to continue our mission and great work for this outstanding park system.”
Renovations are expected to complete by the spring of 2019.