As another sign that summer is on the horizon, the fountain in Hoyt Lake at Delaware Park is back in action.
The ornamental feature – with a 50-foot-tall central jet spray – had been a mainstay on the lake going back to the late 19th century. A fountain was reintroduced there as a scenic complement about five years ago.
But then, last year, the fountain malfunctioned.
According to Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the nonprofit organization which operates the city's six Olmsted parks, the conservancy worked with a number of partners to restore the fountain.
"The fountain had seized both mechanically and electrically, so the entire mechanism with its electrical conduit had to be carefully lifted out of the lake, cleaned, recalibrated, revived and now lowered back into the water," Crockatt said.
Located on the surface of the man-made Hoyt Lake, at the eastern end of the park, the fountain's reappearance did not escape the notice of Elijah Desire, a North Buffalo resident who visits Delaware Park almost daily.
"I think it's pretty cool-looking," Desire said, as he enjoyed a submarine sandwich with a friend across from the fountain.
In the past, Desire said, he had taken a ride in a canoe on the lake and got an up-close view of the spray. He called it "a nice addition" to the lake.
His lunch partner, Alexander Stoehr of Frankfurt, Germany, was happy to see the fountain turned back on. Stoehr had last visited the park when he was an exchange student in Buffalo two years ago.
"I was an exchange (student). Now I am back for visiting. It's like my second time being here (at the park). It's awesome. It's cool here," Stoehr said.
The fountain is one of the most photographed features in the park, according to the Olmsted Conservancy.
Former State Sen. Mark Grisanti helped secure $100,000 from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund, of which $49,000 paid for the fountain. Other funds went toward a study and testing of the lake and the Scajaquada Creek watershed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which contributed $90,000.
Terry Branding, a Jamestown resident, was visiting his son in Buffalo Friday when he went for a stroll in the park and stopped across from the fountain.
"This is the first time I've seen it running," Branding said.
"I think it's pretty impressive. I like the appearance of it, and I'd like to think it helps keep the water aerated and keep down some of the blue green algae," he added.