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Businesses help repair Corporate Challenge damage at Delaware Park

Donors raced to answer a call from the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for help in cleaning up Delaware Park after this month's J.P. Morgan Corporate challenge left it a muddy mess.

The organization on Wednesday announced a joint effort among J.P Morgan Chase and local companies to restore turf in the park's northern section damaged following the June 13 race.

"With these combined resources we can ensure proper turf restoration while taking proactive steps to minimize impacts of future events,” Stephanie Crockatt, the conservancy's executive director, said in a statement.

The conservancy said nearly 60,000 square feet in the park, including two golf holes, will take weeks to fully recover from damage caused by the wet spring, heavy race day rains and foot and vehicle traffic before, during and after the event.

The group estimated the cost of initial repairs at $25,000 but said more than $60,000 has been raised, with leftover money earmarked for ongoing care of the park's turf. Crockatt previously said this year's damage wouldn't scare the conservancy away from hosting the Corporate Challenge in the future.

The race has been held in Delaware Park for 38 of the last 39 years that J.P. Morgan Chase has overseen the event. This year's race drew nearly 14,000 runners and walkers from 427 companies.

Damage was centered in the area near where Colvin Avenue runs into Meadow Drive, including holes 15 and 16 on the golf course.

The organization said the first step in the turf restoration process will start next week, with work running through September.

The repairs include rolling and intensive aeration, adding sod on the golf fairways and a fall reseeding of the surrounding land with a durable sports turf fescue, according to the conservancy.

The group developed this plan with Elbers Landscape Service and sister company Great Lakes Athletic Fields. The corporate backers include Strategic Financial Solutions, which donated $20,000; Ingram Micro; Labatt USA; Hunt Real Estate; GHD; and Curbell.

“The Buffalo Corporate Challenge is an event that our whole team looks forward to every year," Strategic Financial Solutions CEO Ryan Sasson said in the statement. "After hearing about the damage that was caused by the weather, we felt it was important to help the Buffalo community that has welcomed Strategic with open arms.”

Delaware District Councilman Joel Feroleto also attended Wednesday's announcement of the corporate partnership.

Delaware Park left muddy mess after Corporate Challenge

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