By Zhi Phua
Kiss that lawnmower goodbye, goats are for more than cheese and yoga
OLMSTED PARKS CONSERVANCY EMBRACES S-CURVES POLLINATOR GARDEN AND GOATSCAPING
Beauty and ecology measures brought forward as inspired by Flutterby Festival.
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is developing two ecological initiatives in reverence to the Flutterby eco-friendly festival which is taking place this Saturday, August 10th, along Elmwood Avenue.
The first initiative is to install a new pollinator garden in the median of the Delaware S-Curves. Under the Conservancy’s new maintenance partnership agreement with the City of Buffalo, the Conservancy is responsible for mowing the S-Curves median. The Conservancy and its’ Olmsted Naturally Committee have successfully planted other natural meadow areas within the Olmsted parks – a feature Olmsted preferred over manicured space. The exact location for the test garden is adjacent to the bridge over Scajaquada Creek which flows from Forest Lawn Cemetery to Hoyt Lake.
“The space includes a low drainage swale. Native plant materials will be selected based on their growing requirements, such as moisture, soil condition and sunlight,” stated Greg Robinson, landscape architect and conservancy’s Director of Park Administration. “Once this meadow is established, the area will only require mowing once a year, therefore reducing dependency on fossil fuels. It will also provide an aesthetically pleasing habitat that is ideal for birds, bees, insects and other pollinators.”
(Image 1) Proposed areas for the Managed Meadow Areas (in orange outline)
If successful, the Delaware S-Curves could see additional meadow features incorporated to further lessen the carbon footprint. Work to prepare the test plot will begin fall of 2019. It is anticipated it could take a year or two for full growth of the garden, and for further maintenance evaluations.
(Image 2) Proposed location; Current status above.
(Image 3) Possible result. Graphic enhancement.
“I want to applaud the Conservancy and the many initiatives, partners and projects being brought together by the Flutterby Festival,” said Delaware district councilmember, Joel Feroleto. “Environmental stewardship is something we are all responsible for, and it is encouraging to see this amount of community support.”
The second Conservancy initiative is bringing “goatscaping” as a maintenance tool to South Park. Partnering with Let’s Goat Buffalo through a grant from HSBC, a herd of goats will be grazing down the invasive phragmites (cattails) along the park’s Bog Garden this September. Having goats eat the invasive plants at this time of year could stop growth and spread in the spring.
“When Goats are used to eat invasive plants and overgrown vegetation, we greatly reduce the use of toxic fuels and herbicides,” said Jennifer Zeitler, owner of Let’s Goat Buffalo. “Our Buffalo Olmsted Parks are shared spaces that strengthen community ties and bring diverse populations together. Having the goats graze there allows us to care for our parks in a way that is good for the environment and safe for all to enjoy.”
(Image 4) Let’s Goat Buffalo
Let’s Goat Buffalo will also be visiting the Flutterby Festival in Bidwell Parkway on Saturday from 12pm – 3 pm, with a friendly meet and greet of these furry ecologists.
“We are proud to announce these initiatives in relation to the Flutterby Festival,” said Conservancy executive director, Stephanie Crockatt. “The levels of creativity and pride in Buffalo continue to rise, as does the bar for ingenuity and respect for our environment. As Olmsted park stewards, we are committed to greenspace that is inviting and sustainable – and whenever we can incorporate some excitement and fun, it’s a win for us all.”
About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation, through a unique public-private partnership, to manage and operate an entire urban park system consisting of more than 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Conservancy is an independent not-for-profit, 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. Since 2004 the Conservancy has held responsibility for the management and care of these nationally registered historic green spaces, and in 2019 the Conservancy and City signed a new 12-year partnership agreement with an approved update to its five-year plan for the Olmsted parks in continuing to assist the City in bringing recognition to its collective renaissance. Designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted more than 150 years ago, these 25 iconic connective spaces represent the nation’s first urban park system. More than 2.5 million visits occur in Buffalo’s Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America, The Guardian publication named Buffalo’s Olmsted park system as one of the best park systems in the world, and in 2018 the Conservancy set a Guinness World Record in historic Bidwell Parkway. www.bfloparks.org
The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:
Six parks: Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside, and South parks
Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony
About Let’s Goat Buffalo
The term “goatscaping” defines the use of grazing goats to manage vegetation growth in an environmentally sound manner. Let’s Goat Buffalo offers clearing services within suburban and urban environments. Whether it’s a small plot that needs to be cleared of troublesome poison ivy, a commercial property that has become overgrown and high-risk, or a park that has become less accessible to the public, our herd is prepared to help!