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Letter: Return South Park to Buffalo residents

Return South Park to Buffalo residents

From spring to fall, South Park, designed as an arboretum and public park by Frederick Law Olmsted, is the exclusive property of a handful of golfers. The 50,000 residents of South Buffalo cannot use their park for eight months of the year. No one else can, either – just golfers. Why is the public paying tax dollars for a park that it is unable to fully use?

People can walk around the paved perimeter, but the park itself is out of bounds. They are missing a host of natural wonders – a red fox curled up on a heap of leaves, a pair of orioles weaving their hanging nest, a painted turtle laying her eggs.

Children can’t play under the park’s magnificent trees. They can’t discover spring’s first violet or hunt for wild leeks at the lake’s edge.

Why is this so? A very small fraction of the populace pays a minuscule fee to play golf at South Park. There is no real financial gain for the Parks Department, because golf requires expensive management – fertilizer, mowing, watering, golf carts, personnel.

Is the South Park Golf Course a good deal for the taxpaying public? Is it fair to bar the majority of local residents from a historic and lovely space intended for their use?

Lynn Roberson