The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has announced a collaborative effort that will see the restoration of sections of Delaware Park that have been damaged due to severe weather conditions and record race attendance at this year’s Corporate Challenge. The Park System did not have the funds to restore the damaged park parcels, which is why there was a concerted outreach effort asking for financial help. That help came in the form of JP Morgan Chase, Strategic Financial Solutions, Ingram Micro, Labatt USA, Hunt Real Estate, GHD, and Curbell.
Olmsted is calling the circumstances that surrounded the damaged park land “the perfect storm.” Not only was the park drenched from the severe weather patterns throughout the spring, the park grounds were also highly trafficked by pedestrians. Altogether, nearly 60,000 square feet of park land was damaged, including two golf holes.
“As park stewards, we know weather can become an extreme factor when it comes to outdoor events, and as we repair the damage at Delaware Park the Conservancy is grateful to those dedicated companies supporting our hard work,” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director. “When you consider first responder type efforts, we thank Strategic Financial Solutions for their immediate gift augmented by a host of noteworthy local companies, and of course event owner J.P. Morgan who has been in constant contact. With these combined resources we can ensure proper turf restoration while taking proactive steps to minimize impacts of future events.”
“For 38 of the 39 consecutive years we have owned and operated the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, it has been held in Delaware Park. We would not have such successful longevity if it were not for the true and collegial partnership, we have with Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy,” said Bob McArdle, Executive Director & Market Executive, Upstate Middle Market, Chase. “The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has never been more popular in Buffalo, this year attracting nearly 14,000 runners and walkers from 427 companies. We are looking forward to working together with Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in planning and executing our celebratory 40th J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in June 2020.”
The work on the park lands will begin next week and will roll on throughout the summer. That restoration process includes rolling and intensive aeration, installation of sod on the golf fairways, and a fall reseeding.
Damage is currently estimated at $25,000 for the initial work, and over $60,000 has been raised toward the effort.
“The Buffalo Corporate Challenge is an event that our whole team looks forward to every year. After hearing about the damage that was caused by the weather, we felt it was important to help the Buffalo community that has welcomed Strategic with open arms,” said Ryan Sasson, CEO, Strategic Financial Solutions. “When we opened our Buffalo office, we talked about how much “Buffalonians” love their city and we see that every day with our Strategic Family and with events like the Corporate Challenge. We hope our donation will help repair the park back to its original beauty.”
The corporate entities that are providing funding for the initiative are being considered a “dream team” by The Conservancy. Elbers Landscape Service, Inc. and sister company Great Lakes Athletic Fields have been consulted about the work at hand.
“As Delaware District Councilmember and a runner, I applaud those companies who have come forward to assist with this restoration,” said Joel Feroleto, Council Member. “The essence of the Corporate Challenge is team building, and it is great to see the teamwork happening to rebuild our park.”
Lead image: The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, joined by Corporate Partners and Councilman Joel Feroleto, announced the turf restoration process that will begin next week on Delaware Park