Ralph Wilson Jr Foundation gives $3 million grant to Olmsted Parks

Funds for park improvements and operations

Mike Baggerman
August 13, 2019 - 3:12 pm

Peter Crotty Casino at Cazenovia Park. August 13, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy received a $3 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to support capital projects and for planning and operations.

Conservancy officials and city leaders made the announcement on Tuesday morning at Cazenovia Park.

Half of the foundation grant will go towards the capital projects, which includes a renovation of the Peter J. Crotty Casino at Cazenovia Park and other projects throughout the parks system.

"It is a game-changer for our non-profit," Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt said. "It's the beginning of very good things to come."

This funding is the latest partnership between the Olmsted Parks Conservancy and various public and private groups, which also includes Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delaware North, the City of Buffalo, and New York State.

"Cazenovia Park and the South Olmsted District right now needs $8.5 million in investments alone," she said. "That's just one of many initiatives. Our Wilson funding will incentivize matching funds to leverage greater capital investments by embracing other partners."

$900,000 in grant money will go towards park operations while the remaining $600,000 will go towards continued studies.

Crockatt said the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is looking into whether to embrace a campaign to build an endowment for the parks system.

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