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Letter: Let’s hope conservancy supports Olmsted plan

Let’s hope conservancy supports Olmsted plan

As an anthropology student at Buffalo State College, I’m learning about how human beings agree on values in a society, what institutions garner people’s respect, and what activities help draw people together.

In this context, Kevin Gaughan’s plan to combine Frederick Law Olmsted’s natural landscapes with Jack Nicklaus’ recreational designs is an example of creative thinking to sustain important public spaces.

Olmsted believed that everyone, especially those living in crowded cities, was entitled to nature. He famously expressed that idea in his Arboretum, a space that Gaughan wants to restore. After an absence of some hundred years, having the Arboretum again surrounding South Park’s Botanical Gardens would benefit the entire city.

It sounds like the Nicklaus designers who Gaughan brought to Buffalo understand the importance that Olmsted’s lands have to Buffalo’s future. That’s great news. It would be very interesting to see Nicklaus’ ideas on enhancing these areas.

But that will depend on Gaughan’s ability to get the institutions that watch over the parks to collaborate in his initiative. Just as Rep. Brian Higgins wants the waterfront agency to accept new ideas, Gaughan has to get the support of the Olmsted Conservancy. Here’s hoping he succeeds.

K’Juan Rivera


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