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Gift by Siegel family enhances beauty of Hoyt Lake landing

One of the best viewing spots from Hoyt Lake's western shore just got nicer.

A 20-feet-by-40-feet area was dedicated Wednesday as the Siegel Landing, featuring a rectangular base of pavers and two new benches.

A $400,000 endowment to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy from Herb Siegel and his son Aaron Siegel paid for the restoration. Herb Siegel, an attorney and philanthropist, served on the conservancy's board from 2004 to 2010, and Aaron Siegel is a current board member. The beautification project is also a fundraiser, with about 100 pavers purchased and installed Thursday with the names of loved ones.

"We get asked all the time, 'Can I put my name on a tree? Can I put my name on a bench?' " said Stephanie Crockatt, the conservancy's executive director. "This is a way for people to put that memory in writing, in a landscape that will be taken care of in perpetuity as long as the conservancy is here taking care of the parks."

The restoration project with a sustaining endowment is a first-of-a-kind for the conservancy. With space for 1,000 pavers, the potential exists for well over $750,000 to be raised. Prices range from $750 for an 8-inch-by-8-inch wide stone to $1,250 for an 8-inch-by-16-inch wide stone.

The Siegel Landing, located at Hoyt Lake, was dedicated on Wednesday. It's named for Herb Siegel, right, and son Aaron Siegel. (Mark Sommer/Buffalo News)

Aaron Siegel said the family wanted to do something lasting for the conservancy.

"This is an organization that has to raise half its money from scratch every year. I don't think a lot of people know that," Siegel said. "The whole purpose of this was to make a permanent endowment."

The site was in need of significant work, Crockatt said.

"All of this has been put back together with brand-new benches for what's really one of the best views of Hoyt Lake," Crockatt said.

The next group of pavers will be installed in the fall. They will include a special commemorative stone for the late Ralph Wilson Jr. in recognition of what would have been his 100th birthday this year.

A plaque at Delaware Park marks Siegel Landing, dedicated on June 13, 2018. (Mark Sommer/Buffalo News)

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