To me, the lands around the Central Terminal offer a ton of potential, even if the actual Terminal is currently awaiting a project with funding. The property in front of the building is a mixed bag of potential and realizes rewards.
Back in 2015, Dave Majewski, Principal of SRG of Buffalo (a green infrastructure consulting business, with a composting component), was recognized for his work on the Urban Habitat Project (UHP) at the Buffalo Central Terminal. The Project is essentially an outdoor classroom where people of all ages can walk the grounds and learn about nature. There is a path that meanders through a small-ish parcel of land – I say “small-ish” because compared to the vast sprawling lawn adjacent to the Terminal, it’s fairly compact.
As I walked the grounds during a recent visit, I was surprised to see that the vast majority of the grounds is composed of an over-mowed, lifeless lawn. Not only is the grass scorched, it’s hotter than heck with very few trees to offer shade. I couldn’t help but wonder why this parcel was not a maintained meadow, rain garden, a flowering field, an edible forest, or anything other than a scorched lawn?
Compared to the vibrant and lush Urban Habitat Project that was full of life – birds, bugs, butterflies, native plants, trees, bushes, etc. – the lifeless lawn was a real head scratcher. Why waste the time, and the resources, to mow such a large parcel of land that no one uses, when it can serve as a natural habitat that would actually enhance the grounds instead of creating an urban wasteland?
Since we have already recognized how successful the Urban Habitat Project is, how can we look at this lawn and think that we’re doing this site justice? This is environmentally backwards, and it doesn’t have to be. Heck, if there was a small patch mowed directly around the Terminal for safety purposes, or for access, etc., I would understand. But to me it looks like someone has gone “lawnmower happy” for no apparent reason. This lawn parcel is, for all intents and purposes, lifeless, and it does nothing but aesthetically detract from the iconic building, while doing nothing for the environment. Something to think about in this 90+ degree weather that is surely a bi-product of global warming.