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North Buffalo's Shoshone Park getting some needed attention

WBFO's Mike Desmond

Shoshone Park in North Buffalo is getting some major dollar attention from City Hall and attention from the surrounding neighborhoods tied together by its grass, trees and pool.

Those trees are getting major replanting this fall, as the city tries to replace masses of diseased trees that had to be cut down. In addition, more than $1 million is going into renovating the pool.

Among the groups working on the park is the North Buffalo Organization. Treasurer Joann Steinmetz said it is a family attraction.

"This is the perfect place for families to come and play and with some sprucing up and maybe some improvements with the snack bar, I think this will just be a great place to be in the summertime with your kids, especially if the pool is completed and people have access to that again," Steinmetz said.

The organization also is working with a series of community and merchant groups in the area to improve the park, like the new garden running along part of the Hertel Avenue side of the park - a gift from grocer Joe Dash.

University Heights Collaborative President Mickey Vertino said the park brings kids and families from across the surrounding neighborhoods.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

"This seems to connect the community, though, just as well with the residents knowing that," Vertino said. "You have the big Delaware Park, but it doesn't have that connectivity that goes through the park. We have all these streets that come to dead ends now, Rails to Trails, and now we're connected to the North Buffalo side. And now we are getting to meet neighbors that we maybe didn't get to see before. There used to be feel of a separation between the two sides, that's that side of the tracks and this was the Hertel side of the tracks."

The alliance is called FROGS or Friends of Green Space. University Councilmember Rasheed Wyatt said it is good that the city is planning major tree plantings to replace dozens of diseased trees which have been cut down.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

"It's unfortunate. I was telling the commissioner about how unfortunate that is, but we wanted to make sure we protect the public safety," Wyatt said. "We wanted to make sure that there are till  new trees being put there so they can grow back. It is disappointing that it won't look like it has in the past, but we are taking actions to make sure that we bring the park up for the future, anyway."

Wyatt said Buffalo's Common Council had to come up with some extra money for the pool renovation when the deteriorated condition of the mechanical equipment running the pool became obvious, delaying the work by a year. He is assuring everyone the pool will be ready for next summer.

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.
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