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The ‘Riverside Park’ Experience

^ Lead image: Seasonal gardeners Oo Meh, Plu Meh, and Sey Reh working at the River Rock Garden


Designed in 1898 by Frederick Law Olmsted’s sons – 30 years after Olmsted Sr. first came to Buffalo – Riverside Park was the final addition to the park system. It is located between Niagara, Crowley, Vulcan and Tonawanda Streets, and overlooks the Niagara River. One of its original key features was a Minnow Pool, which was restored and reinterpreted as the River Rock Garden in 2014. In 2021, The MolinaCares Accord adopted Riverside Park to support the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s (BOPC) work to maintain and care for this park all year round. 

Also in 2021, BOPC received a NYSDEC grant to remove dead ash trees throughout the Olmsted Park System, five of which are in Riverside Park. Tree removals are expected to occur in the fall and early winter.

A priority in the BOPC’s Five Year Plan, the football field at Riverside Park is receiving an upgrade this year in partnership with the City of Buffalo. This improvement project includes new bleachers, benches and fencing, plus the installation of boulders along Hotaling Drive for parking safety. The center of the football field will be regraded, crowned and new turf installed.

BOPC is currently in the process of researching funding opportunities for the full rehabilitation of Riverside’s baseball diamonds.  The rockwall and slide are on order for replacement at the playground, thanks to funding from Councilmember Golombek, and the backstop netting will be replaced thanks to a State grant.

“The Olmsted Parks Conservancy takes pride as a nonprofit which cares for Buffalo’s historic parks and green spaces, and we hope all park-goers will support us by keeping the parks clean and beautiful for all,” said Stephanie Crockatt, BOPC’s Executive Director. “Thanks to partnerships for the parks, like The MolinaCares Accord, resources are key to fun and healthy neighborhood engagement activities, which coupled with our restorative work, will ensure opportunities for these parks and their communities to thrive.”

For more information on Five Year Plan projects (2020-2024) throughout the Buffalo Olmsted Park System, please click here.

Upcoming events at Riverside Park include:

BPO Olmsted Concert at Riverside Park

Aug 13, 7pm-8pm

Featuring select musicians from the brass section of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Facebook event

Back to School Party + Movie Night + Bike Repair

Aug 20

5:30pm – School Supplies Giveaway, Bike Repair and Safety presentation by GObike Buffalo

At sundown, approximately 8pm – Movie Night featuring “Sing”

Facebook event

FLO Gala + Fireworks Show

Aug 27, 6pm-10pm

Tickets to the FLO Gala on sale now! Park neighbors and visitors are invited to join us for a free fireworks show at approximately 8:45pm

Facebook event

Family Movie Night “Mulan”

Sep 17

At sundown, approximately 7:30pm – Disney’s animation “Mulan”

Facebook event


Written by Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation, through a unique public-private partnership, to manage, operate and maintain an entire urban park system consisting of more than 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Conservancy is an independent not-for-profit, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million visits occur in Buffalo’s Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Learn more at http://bfloparks.org/.

The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:

Six parks: Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside, and South

Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond

Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony

Smaller spaces: Days, Heacock and Prospect

View All Articles by Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
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