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New mile-long Discovery Trail opens on the West Side

A year long project with the neighborhood - the Discovery Trail - brings fun 24/7 outdoor play space to the West Side community

There’s a new discovery trail on the city’s West Side. This one can be found at the West Buffalo Charter School – 113 Lafayette Avenue. The Discovery Trail is thanks to a Play Everywhere Challenge, which allows for the creation of thoughtful and healthy outdoor play spaces. The funding and the coordination was provided by the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and KaBOOM! respectively – the two organizations have unveiled 23 such play spaces in Western New York and Southeast Michigan, to date.

The West Buffalo Charter School (WBCS) was awarded a Play Everywhere grant, which has resulted in the creation of a one-mile trail loop: The Voyage of Discovery Adventure Loop Trail (Discovery Trail) on the sidewalks of Lafayette Avenue between Dewitt and Baynes street in the City of Buffalo. The trail features: 

  • 14 Sidewalk Graphics: During the past school year, students from the WBCS designed graphics on the theme “How do you say welcome in different cultures”. Fourteen new sections of sidewalk that incorporate the “welcome” graphics were installed this spring.
  • 60 Bear Paws: The Buffalo Maritime Center Foundry and their team of experienced foundry artisans designed and cast 60 bronze bear paws for the trail. Students from WBCS were integrally involved in the process.
  • Musical Instruments: Framed by a mural of children’s faces, outdoor drums and two metallophones are ready to play at the trailhead performance space on the corner of Barton and Lafayette adjacent to the school.
  • A Periscope Tree: Come look for adventure – or your city bus – from a pole of periscopes located at the corner of Dewitt and Lafayette.
  • Rain-works: Rain activated, hidden messages on the sidewalk are revealed when wet.

The new Discovery Trail is open 24/7, and is considered a neighborhood asset, where all children can play in a wholesome outdoor learning environment.

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Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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