Assemblyman Brian Higgins recently secured $500,000 in state funding for the restoration of two Olmsted circles on McKinley Parkway. The neighborhood is delighted with his efforts. He held community meetings and involved residents in the planning process.
Higgins demonstrated that he has the skills needed to bring groups together and form consensus. Most important, he incorporated closure, time frames and completion dates into the project. This is a rarity in government today, when so many projects are tied up in committees or are continually in the planning stages.
I am a member of the Olmsted Parks of South Buffalo Corp. We have been volunteering for years at these circles and in the parks, and feel fortunate to get the financial assistance needed to enhance and conserve their natural beauty as proposed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
We feel fabulously wealthy living in a neighborhood that boasts the highest percentage of Olmsted landscape in the city. Of all the Olmsted Parks in Buffalo, South Park most closely embodies Olmsted's original design. We should maximize its potential along with Cazenovia Park as a cultural tourist attraction by initiating its restoration and illuminating its beauty.
We feel certain that people throughout the region would visit these landmarks. Attractions such as these could serve as a catalyst to generate more business and interest in the neighborhood.
More politicians should follow Higgins' lead and realize that the pot of gold we're searching for may be hidden in our own back yards.