NEW SELF-GUIDED MOBILE AUDIO TOUR REVEALS
LITTLE-KNOWN STORIES ABOUT OLMSTED’S DELAWARE PARK
Free mobile program to be unveiled at
press conference on Tuesday, October 6, 2015
PRESENTING SPONSOR M&T BANK
BUFFALO, NY — Buffalo really did roam in Delaware Park long ago. The region’s first golf course water hazard was located here, not far from where 300 soldiers who died during the War of 1812 still guard the Great Meadow. Hoyt Lake was originally known as Gala Water.
Visitors can now hear these and other captivating stories, thanks to a new self-guided mobile audio tour of 13 sites in Delaware Park. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the City of Buffalo, and presenting sponsor M&T Bank will introduce the free mobile program during a press conference on Tuesday, October 6 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rose Garden in Delaware Park.
“M&T understands how important an asset the Olmsted Park system is to our community,” said Charitable Foundation’s vice president program director Nancy Brock. “These wonderful new audio tours will help deepen that understanding among those visiting our community, and for those of us who know Delaware Park well. What a great way to get to know a familiar friend even better!”
This unique program will instruct park users to log into a special website – tourwand.com/olmsted – then access each audio narration by entering a three-digit code in a mobile device. Audio tour signage and maps guide visitors to tour sites throughout the north and south sides of the historic, award-winning Delaware Park. The new mobile program was designed and developed by Buffalo native Ken Kozaczka and is powered by Tourwand, the company he founded. The narrations were researched and scripted by Jim Mendola, the Conservancy’s volunteer archivist, audio production by Jordan Lema of Lemur Studios and the 13 audio scripts were recorded by Linda Pellegrino of WKBW-TV’s AM Buffalo.
“We’re excited to further enhance the visitor experience to Buffalo’s award-winning Olmsted parks,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “I’m pleased to help launch this new tool that creates a high-quality, free audio tour of our world class Delaware Park. I thank M&T for its support of this project that makes our parks even more enjoyable and accessible to our citizens.”
Tour sites on the Lake/South Side of Delaware Park include:
1) Bridge of the Three Americas
2) Gala Water (now Hoyt Lake)
3) The Statue of David
4) The McMillan Monument
5) The Marcy Casino
6) The Rose Garden
7) Beach Banks Picnic Grounds & Spire Head House
8) The Ivy Bridge
Sites on the Meadow/North Side of Delaware Park are:
9) The Quarry Garden
10) The Mighty Oak in the Meadow
11) Flint Hill Memorial
12) Delaware Park Lily Pond
13) The Zoo Paddock
“A key part of our mission is to raise awareness of the historic value of Buffalo’s award-winning Olmsted parks, and we are indebted to M&T for their visionary corporate support in bringing this new Tourwand technology to life,” said Stephanie Crockatt, Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy’s executive director. “We believe this new feature will increase the public’s recognition of our parks as outdoor cultural tourism experiences in our amazing renaissance City.”
In 1868, Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s first landscape architect, envisioned for Buffalo a design that became the nation’s first complete system of urban parks and parkways, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In partnership with the City of Buffalo, the Conservancy is responsible for the care and maintenance of the system, which totals 850 acres and is composed of six major parks, seven parkways and eight landscaped circles.
The Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization to manage and operate an entire historic park system. The membership-based organization’s mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the region’s Olmsted-designed parks and parkways. In 2014, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the great places in America. Most recently, The Guardian, the international news source based in the United Kingdom, cited the Buffalo Olmsted Park System as one of the top 10 green urban spaces in the world.
Delaware Park History. Delaware Park, one of Olmsted’s first three in Buffalo, is the focal point of the Olmsted system and, in effect, our city’s Central Park. Named simply The Park by Olmsted, this 350-acre setting today contains many of Buffalo’s cultural institutions. Much has been accomplished toward the restoration of this park – a new playground in Rumsey Woods, restoration of the Rose Garden, extensive improvements to the Marcy Casino, and many new trees planted throughout. The Conservancy’s headquarters are located in the historic Parkside Lodge, built in 1914, which also houses the Delaware Meadows Golf Course Pro Shop. The Lodge’s handsome Great Room, tended croquet lawns, and a fenced picnic lawn are available for rental.
For complete self-guided mobile audio tour details, call 838-1249 ext. 14 or visit bfloparksapp.wpengine.com.
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About M&T Bank. M&T Bank is one of the top 20 U.S. based commercial banks in the nation. Through the volunteerism of its employees and financial contributions made through the bank’s philanthropic arm, The M&T Charitable Foundation, M&T supports a diverse range of cultural, civic, education, health care, human service and youth organizations that add value to the communities in which it does business. More information is available at www.mtb.com/aboutus/community.
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, which 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.
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo, Delaware Park in Delaware/Parkside District, Front Park at the Peace Bridge, Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Fillmore Avenue, Riverside Park at Niagara and Tonawanda Street, South Park at McKinley Parkway
Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight Landscaped Circles:
Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony