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Delaware North donates $300,000 to Olmsted parks for trees, youth program

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is getting a financial boost from one of downtown's corporate giants to help its forestry management, while furthering a summertime educational opportunity for local youths.

Delaware North Companies will donate $300,000, paid in three installments through the year 2019. The money will support the park system's ongoing effort to maintain its estimated 14,000 trees.

"It will allow us to invest in our personnel, our tools and our specialized gear that they use in order to stay safe and productive," said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. "In addition to that, (Olmsted) Forestry will be able to better engage and train part-time summer youth with the city, to help our basic forestry tasks."

That youth training is held in cooperation with the Buffalo Employment and Training Center, and Mayor Byron Brown's Summer Youth Program. That program is among the reasons Delaware North is providing its money for the Conservancy.

"They do great work to perpetuate our city's iconic green spaces," said Delaware North Co-CEO Lou Jacobs. "Environmental stewardship is very important to Delaware North. We proudly operate hospitality and food service in some of the most incredible natural settings in the world. Today we're honored to support conservation efforts in our hometown."

Jacobs said Thursday's announcement is especially personal for his family, pointing out that his parents' East Aurora home is among the last in the U.S. to feature residential landscaping designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Buffalo's park network.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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