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Trimble Leaves Olmsted Conservancy Post

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – A key figure in keeping Buffalo's historic Olmsted parks system operating will be leaving the area at the end of the month. Deborah Trimble, executive director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, has accepted a position with a Florida theatre company.

When Deborah Trimble arrived in 1999, the conservancy was a tiny organization of just 140 members. Today, it has more than 1,500. Back then, the conservancy had just received a $700,000 grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund in addition to hundreds of thousands of dollars in local foundation and city support. And things, according to Trimble, were starting to take off.

"I really think the turning point of where we strategically knew where we were heading was when we entered into a partnership with the Central Park Conservancy in 2001," Trimble said. "That really gave us a clear sense of direction on what was the best way this organization could contribute to the community and make a difference."

Using New York City's Central Park as a model, the Conservancy launched a 20-year management and restoration plan for Buffalo's six Olmsted-designed parks. Then, last year, it became the first parks conservancy in the nation to actually manage a parks system in partnership with the city and Erie County. Even though she's leaving at a crucial time, Trimble said the parks will be fine. She expects there will be tremendous interest in her position.

"We just had 175 people here from the National Association for Olmsted Parks Conference who saw how beautiful Buffalo was," Trimble said. "I think the talent pool is going to be deep. And think they're going to have a hard time deciding who is going to be next because they are going to have a lot of qualified candidates who want to come to Buffalo."

Trimble will become development director of the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota. Her last day on the job is June 28th. But Trimble says we haven't seen the last of her.

"I'm going to come back and make sure everything is moving forward, which I know it will be." [Cart No: 0617-DT-5 Time: 6s Out-cue: ]