South Buffalo has many great assets, but there are two gems that stand out in this beautiful area -- the two well-maintained parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
Cazenovia Park, the larger of the two, is divided by Cazenovia Creek, which meanders through its majestic meadows. Stately trees dot the landscape providing deep shaded areas that create a beautiful country environment.
The city recently installed many new asphalt paths for its hikers and bicyclists to enjoy. The park has a picnic/playground area with a wading pool for the children to enjoy. It also provides a haven for a multitude of sporting activities, including a challenging nine-hole golf course.
Traveling down tree-lined McKinley Parkway, also designed by Olmsted, takes one to South Park. As one approaches this park, the Botanical Gardens come into view. These gardens are open year-round and provide patrons with a rich variety of tropical, desert and local plants to view.
Another nine-hole golf course surrounds the large lake situated behind the gardens. A roadway circles the entire park, giving its patrons a great place to enjoy the scenery while hiking, jogging, skating and bike riding.
Also located in this district, but totally disconnected from access, is the Tifft Farm Nature Preserve and the Small Boat Harbor. Although these are magnificent attractions, the city has provided absolutely no pedestrian access. The only way to get to these areas is to walk in the street along a narrow portion of Tifft Street with cars and trucks speeding by.
I wonder if city officials are aware of these dangerous pedestrian conditions. There is ample right of way for a pedestrian/bike path to be constructed.
Another potential attraction of South Buffalo is the outer harbor waterfront. This neglected stretch of land, if privately developed, could bring millions of dollars of additional tax revenue to the city and provide Buffalo with a magnificent new image.
Other cities have vastly improved their images by renovating their waterfronts. We have great potential. Now all we need is some visionary leadership to make it happen.