Douglas Blonsky will be guest of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
BUFFALO, NY – What better way to celebrate Earth Day on April 22 than to welcome the guardian of one of the country’s most beloved public spaces? Douglas Blonsky, president and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy, will present “Cultural Partners in an Olmsted Landscape.”
The presentation – part of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s 2015 Lecture Series – will take place at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of the BOPC’s valued cultural partners.
Mayor Byron Brown will introduce Mr. Blonsky who will discuss the positive economic impact of partnerships among cultural organizations. Collaborations between Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Central Park Zoo, Tavern on the Green and many others help to attract more than 40 million visitors each year to the city’s historic Olmsted landscape.
“Under Mr. Blonsky’s leadership, the Central Park Conservancy sets the standard in cultural collaborations for urban parks,” said Mayor Brown, noting that Buffalo is a proud partner in the Olmsted Landscape. “Much like the Central Park Conservancy and the City of New York, the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy have a strong partnership that continues to create a great public back yard for city residents and visitors. I’m pleased to introduce Mr. Blonsky at this lecture series and want to thank him for sharing his experiences and cultural collaborative success stories with us.”
Among recent successes, Central Park’s preservationist partnered with the Met to restore and preserve the Obelisk, which is nicknamed Cleopatra’s Needle. The museum also mounted a comprehensive exhibit on obelisk restoration, highlighting the one in the park. CPC also teamed with the Museum of the City of New York for a showing of artist Janet Ruttenberg’s work featuring Central Park.
“Our Conservancy has learned a great deal from Mr. Blonsky in the past as we shaped our organization,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s interim executive director. “We continue to look to him and Central Park for inspiration and advisement in making our park system a cultural showpiece for the City of Buffalo.”
Since joining the Central Park Conservancy in 1985, Mr. Blonsky has risen to increasingly senior positions; he was named president and CEO in 2004. He has also been Central Park administrator since 1998, when CPC signed a historic management agreement with the City of New York. A visionary leader, Mr. Blonsky has achieved many noteworthy restoration projects in Central Park, where he oversees more than 300 employees and 3,000 volunteers. His innovative practices have set the standard for park preservation and management worldwide. He is a featured speaker at many international conferences on the management of urban parks.
“I’ve been a partner and supporter of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks for more than 15 years,” Mr. Blonsky noted. “I recognize the great legacy of the city’s parks, and value the work of the BOPC to promote, preserve, restore, enhance and ensure the maintenance of Buffalo’s Olmsted parks, parkways and landscaped circles.”
The media is invited to the 3:00 p.m. press conference at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Tickets for the event – $15 for BOPC or AKAG members, $30 for non-members – include the lecture, parking and gallery admission. They can be obtained by visiting the BOPC website, bfloparksapp.wpengine.com.
# # #
About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system that consists of 850 acres of beautifully designed parks, parkways and circles. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, membership-based, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million people use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Park System annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The parks were designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, more than 145 years ago. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the 2004 groundbreaking public/private agreement with the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Since that time, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, now partnering with the City of Buffalo, has retained full responsibility for the management and care of these green spaces, which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America.