Senator Kennedy Joins Olmsted Parks Conservancy to Announce $110,000 in New Funding for Improvements at MLK Park

BUFFALO, N.Y. – One of Buffalo’s historic parks will receive some much-needed repair and remodeling, thanks to state funding recently secured by Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo). Kennedy joined Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt Thursday to announce the new funding, and said the $110,000 will be used to renovate sections of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park’s Cottage Garden on Buffalo’s East Side. The rehabilitation project will include utility work to bring water connections and enhanced lighting to the space, which sits directly outside the Buffalo Museum of Science. Other parts of the Gardens that have fallen into disrepair, such as walls and benches, will also be refurbished under the new project, while overgrown vegetation will be replaced with new shrubbery that will be more easily maintained.

“Investing in our parks not only spurs new development and increases property values, but also provides a vital recreational component for healthy living,” Senator Tim Kennedy said. “MLK Park offers an abundance of opportunities for families: splash pads, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts. Folks who visit these spaces, or to the Science Museum next door, deserve a park that is clean and well-kept—a park that’s beautiful. That’s the legacy that Frederick Law Olmsted left for our city, and I’m proud to announce new funding that honors that legacy today.”

“Senator Kennedy has once again come through for his district and the Olmsted Parks,” said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “The Cottage Garden at MLK, Jr. Park is one of the rare special spaces in the Olmsted system, and with these much needed water and lighting improvements, this garden will bloom with community pride once again.”

This is the second time this summer that Kennedy has announced funding he secured for one of the Olmstead Parks in his district. In June, he joined Crockatt, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Councilman Christopher Scanlon in outlining $90,000 in state funding which will be used to renovate parts of Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. The Cazenovia Park project will include the repavement of the park’s trailways and the improvement of the space’s Abbott Road entrance and is expected to begin this fall.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, originally called The Parade, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux between 1868 and 1870, and its initial plan included a sports field, a children’s playground, and the Parade House, which doubled as a restaurant and a dance hall. In 1977, the space was renamed to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Today, the park stretches more than 50 acres and includes a walled garden, recreational facilities, and a wading pool that is believed to be one of the largest in the country.