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Letter: Buffalo has to embrace plan to improve parks

Buffalo has to embrace plan to improve parks

Just after the Aspen Institute released its “State of Play – WNY” report, which highlights Buffalo’s need for more youth recreation facilities, I read in The News that Kevin Gaughan’s golf course project for our Frederick Law Olmsted parks has earned the endorsement of the leading Olmsted organization in Washington, D.C.

The Aspen study reveals that the highest density of youth in need exists in and around the City of Buffalo. Gaughan’s plan for adding public golf facilities, with program focus on fitness and education, addresses the precise challenge described in the report. Buffalo can benefit from what the Aspen consultants call more “hardware,” that is, facilities that can host youth recreational programs.

The fact that world-renowned champion Jack Nicklaus has agreed to bring Gaughan’s vision to reality with two new public courses heightens the value of these proposed facilities. And while I was unaware of the Olmsted arboretum’s former existence in South Park, I understand why the national Olmsted group seeks its rehabilitation, and how that restoration will help increase tourism.

The Nicklaus-Gaughan collaboration will create bookend public spaces that will create jobs, recreational opportunity and tourist interest. All of which are needed in Buffalo and Western New York.

Kathleen Lovett-McKeever

West Seneca

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