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Schiller Park ready for long overdue upgrades

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Improvements are coming to a section of Buffalo's Schiller Park, courtesy of a $298,000 allocation from the Common Council.

The funds will pay for an extensive project on the park's pond. It will first be dredged. Then, an invasive plant will be removed and a new clay bottom will be put in place.

Councilmember Richard Fontana says the pond is a mess and hasn't been properly kept up in the 15 years since it was last dredged.

"Rather than spend the money, we almost filled it in. But, the Sewer Authority told us: No, we can't," Fontana recalled. 

"They like it because it's a water retention area and it cuts down rainwater from going into the sewer system. It actually acts as a filter from the spray pool water that goes in."

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
Nearly $300,000 will help improve Schiller Park. This pond will be dredged and a clay bottom will be installed.

Fontana says the dredging project won't get rid of an odor which occasionally hangs over the East Side area. He maintains those odors emanate from the Scajaquada Creek tunnel which carries creek water contaminated with human waste from suburban storm system overflows.

Some other cosmetic improvements are planned, including fixing and painting the gazebo.

"This is going to make the park look nice again. It hasn't looked nice," Fontana said. 

"I want to thank the residents for their patience, because it has looked bad."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.