2018 marks 150 years since famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted came to Buffalo to begin designing the local urban parks system.
Now, a century and a half later, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is celebrating the anniversary by using ultra-modern technology to enhance the park-going experience.
The Conservancy launched the new Olmsted App on Friday morning as it kicked off Olmsteducation week.
“This is a very special week during our 150th celebration year, which includes Earth Day, Olmsted’s birthday and Arbor Day,” noted Dennis Horrigan, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy Board Chairman.
Through Saturday, April 28, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy is hosting a wide range of activities for people of all interests and backgrounds to learn more about the parks system and to get involved themselves.
“I encourage all residents to come out to enjoy Olmsteducation week and to enjoy the Olmsted Parks,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown during Friday morning’s launch event for Olmsteducation Week and the new Olmsted App.
The free Olmsted App offers a trivia game, a calendar of programming and events, and way-finding tools to help park-goers navigate the landmarks and amenities of the 850 acre Buffalo Olmsted Parks system.
Some of the points of interest also have augmented reality features, including the Quarry Garden area near the Parkside Lodge. “As you look at these bridges and wonder, why are there these bridges across grass? That is because 25 feet down there was a wonderful working rock quarry,” Crockatt told those gathered there Friday morning for the Olmsteducation Week launch. “And over time it was covered in lush vegetation and had pools and it was called the Ledges, and it was a wonderful feature. And we’re going to be able to bring that back through augmented reality.”
The augmented reality features also include Olmsted characters educating park-goers about the areas around them.
“It’s very cool. I think it’s going to engage park visitors in a new way,” said Bart Kresse, an Administrative Vice President with M&T Bank, which partnered with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to launch the new app.
The Olmsted App is available for download for both Apple and Android devices.