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Parks Experts Gather in Buffalo

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Olmsted Conservancy begins hosting a four-day national parks conference starting Thurssday. More than 175 city park enthusiasts will be converging on the Queen City.

Park experts, leaders and historians from across the country will be in Buffalo over the next four days.

The topic of this national conference will focus on Partnerships and Urban parks. It is being sponsored by two national organizations - the National Association for Olmsted Parks and the City Parks Alliance, as well as the National Parks Service.

Deborah Trimble, who is executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Conservancy, said those attending are coming in from as far away as California and Montreal.

"Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy, the leader of the Louisville Conservancy, Charles Beveridge, editor of the Frederick Law Olmsted Papers, really top park experts."

Buffalo is the premier setting to showcase the city's famed Frederick Law Olmsted park system and the recent collaboration between the conservancy, and the merged Buffalo and Erie County merged parks department.

Trimble said a number of the attendees are very excited to learn about how how the partnership was formed.

"What lessons they might be able to learn and take back home. What have been the challenges and what are the benefits," said Trimble. "Although they didn't know when Buffalo was first selected for the site for the meeting, the city is really leading the way for how parks should be managed in the future."

The conference is opened to the public. Discussions will include public ownership of parks, historic preservation, and opportunities to strengthen park systems.

Trimble said this year also marks the 25th anniversary of the National Association for Olmsted Parks, which was founded in Buffalo and marks a coming home for the national organization.