FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2009
Erie County Legislature Chair Lynn M. Marinelli (D-Buffalo, Tonawanda) is announcing that the County Legislature unanimously approved the $360,000 matching grant for the Olmsted Parks Conservancy for 2009 programming and other needs to maintain the Olmsted Parks in Buffalo at its November 5 session.
"On behalf of the community and the Erie County Legislature, I am pleased that we approved the agreement providing the $360,000 in matching funds to the Olmsted Parks Conservancy," Legislature Chair Marinelli said. "As a longtime outspoken advocate for the Olmsted Parks system, particularly with Delaware Park being situated in the 11th District, I commend the Legislature and the administration for finally advancing the funding."
Legislator Marinelli reported Olmsted Parks Conservancy President and CEO Thomas Herrera-Mishler testified that volunteers for the conservancy have doubled in the last year during a Finance, Management and Budget Committee 2010 proposed budget hearing.
Legislature Majority Leader Maria R. Whyte (D-Buffalo) and Community Enrichment Committee Chair Legislator Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo), who also represent communities with Olmsted Parks place din and serving them, were sponsors of the funding.
"This matching grant approval is a true public-private partnership between Erie County and the Olmsted Conservancy. The staff and volunteers at the Conservancy are able top raise funds and gain further volunteers to serve the parks," Legislator Marinelli added. "My colleagues and I are concerned there is no funding for the conservancy in the administration's 2010 budget proposal. With the administration planning to withdraw from the intermunicipal parks agreement between Erie County and the City of Buffalo, there is no certainty the Olmsted Parks will be funded to the level their services and programs deserve."
"The Olmsted Parks have always proven themselves to be an excellent resource enjoyed and appreciated by all and part of the cultural tourism engine that will help drive Erie County's renewal," Legislator Marinelli added. "We must not allow this treasure to be ignored or neglected."
Legislator Marinelli, who led the efforts on the 2004 intermunicipal agreement, and others acknowledge that the staff, board and volunteers have achieved major successes in the operation and maintenance of the 1,200-acre Olmsted Park and Parkway.
The Olmsted Conservancy, under the current intermunicipal agreement between Erie County and the City of Buffalo, maintains the major Olmsted parks: Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King Jr., Riverside and South Park, and the adjoining parkways, circles and smaller spaces.