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Kids welcome at workshop on transforming LaSalle Park to Wilson Centennial Park

A community workshop on the transformation of LaSalle Park into Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park is set for next week, and children are more than welcome.

Mayor Byron W. Brown is urging City of Buffalo children to take part a hands-on public design workshop from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Waterfront Elementary School/BPS 95, located at 95 4th Street.

The session, aimed to gather design ideas from Buffalo's children on the park's Play Garden, is the first community-driven design workshop since the May reveal of conceptual plans for the park.

Children will take part in creative, hands-on activities where they'll share their ideas for the playground space with the design team from Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. Grownups will also have the opportunity to offer suggestions to refine ideas for the Play Garden.

"While we want Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park to be a regional asset that embodies world-class design, the bottom line is to create a city park for the enjoyment of all Buffalo residents," Mayor Brown said in a release. "I'm pleased our youngsters will have a voice in the design because parks and playgrounds are so critical to their physical and social well-being."

The design session will also include a recap of work completed this summer, including technical studies, new project partnerships and design adjustments. MVVA will also provide an outline of the design process for the coming months.

Organizers say the park design process will continue through 2020 and will include many opportunities for the community to continue to shape and refine the design through additional meetings and community workshops. The team anticipates a potential groundbreaking in spring 2022, with an estimated completion date of spring 2024.

Ambitious plan would (literally) reshape LaSalle Park

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