There are two additional eco initiatives taking hold in tandem with this Saturday’s Flutterby Festival. The Olmsted Parks Conservancy has announced that it will be installing a new pollinator garden in the median of the S-curves. For years, we have seen this vast lawn mowed down, to resemble a lifeless golf course. The thought is, since this winding field is not occupied by park-goers, why isn’t it allowed to grow naturally (no mow, low mow, etc)? Over the last few years, The Conservancy has been promoting the advancement of Maintained Meadow Areas (MMAs) in its parks, it only makes sense that this S-Curves corridor would be perfectly suited as a pollinator pathway… or a Flutterbyway.
Under the Conservancy’s new maintenance partnership agreement with the City of Buffalo, the median of the Delaware S-Curves is now the responsibility of The Conservancy under the guidance of its Olmsted Naturally Committee. The new eco initiative will start off with a test garden, adjacent to the bridge over Scajaquada Creek which flows from Forest Lawn Cemetery to Hoyt Lake.
“The space includes a low drainage swale. Native plant materials will be selected based on their growing requirements, such as moisture, soil condition and sunlight,” stated Greg Robinson, landscape architect and conservancy’s Director of Park Administration. “Once this meadow is established, the area will only require mowing once a year, therefore reducing dependency on fossil fuels. It will also provide an aesthetically pleasing habitat that is ideal for birds, bees, insects and other pollinators.”
The Olmsted Naturally Committee will prepare the test plot in the fall of 2019, from which point it will be monitored and evaluated as it matures.
“I want to applaud the Conservancy and the many initiatives, partners and projects being brought together by the Flutterby Festival,” said Delaware district councilmember, Joel Feroleto. “Environmental stewardship is something we are all responsible for, and it is encouraging to see this amount of community support.”
The second eco initiative that The Conservancy is rolling out in tandem with The Flutterby Festival is “goatscaping”. Goatscaping, the practice of using goats to eat invasive plant species such as knotweed, will initially be introduced to South Park. The Conservancy has partnering with Let’s Goat Buffalo thanks to a grant from HSBC – a herd of goats will be grazing down the invasive phragmites (cattails) along the park’s Bog Garden starting this September. Incredibly, the goats love to eat the invasive plant life, and tend to leave the indigenous plants alone.
“When Goats are used to eat invasive plants and overgrown vegetation, we greatly reduce the use of toxic fuels and herbicides,” said Jennifer Zeitler, owner of Let’s Goat Buffalo. “Our Buffalo Olmsted Parks are shared spaces that strengthen community ties and bring diverse populations together. Having the goats graze there allows us to care for our parks in a way that is good for the environment and safe for all to enjoy.”
Let’s Goat Buffalo will also be visiting the Flutterby Festival in Bidwell Parkway on Saturday from 12pm – 3 pm, with a friendly meet and greet of these furry ecologists.
“We are proud to announce these initiatives in relation to the Flutterby Festival,” said Conservancy executive director, Stephanie Crockatt. “The levels of creativity and pride in Buffalo continue to rise, as does the bar for ingenuity and respect for our environment. As Olmsted park stewards, we are committed to greenspace that is inviting and sustainable – and whenever we can incorporate some excitement and fun, it’s a win for us all.”