Local organization calling for safety improvements at Broderick Park

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A group called Friends of Broderick Park is asking the city to make the park safer. The city said changes are in the works but the group said they’ve been having these conversations for years.

People who come to Broderick Park said they’d like to see it cleaned up not only for safety reasons but also to keep it looking nice for generations to come.

Broderick Park is a historic site recognized for being part of the Underground Railroad between the United States and Canada.

Friends of Broderick Park has been working with the city for years to improve the park. They have concerns about the gaps in fencing, sinkholes, lack of safety line rings, and debris. George Johnson is a member.

“They have done some temporary things in the park the past two, three years but we need to make things more permanent and safe,” Johnson said. “The temporary barriers they put up along different areas of the park, it’s still not safe if a kid or someone falls especially in certain areas you only have 45 seconds to get out of the water.”

In a statement, Buffalo deputy parks commissioner Andy Rabb said he talks to the group on a regular basis. He said parks maintenance staff are there multiple times per week, there are two police cameras, a project for additional fencing and life ring stations is set to begin in the fall, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in construction for a project benefitting fish movement along the seawall.

Johnson said he wants to collaborate with the city and hopes these things get done.

“They’ve been telling us that for some time. We want to collaborate with the city to make sure the park is being paid attention to.”

The group also said it hopes to see the repairs done before the end of the summer so people can enjoy the park safely.

Full city statement:

“The Division of Parks and Recreation communicates regularly with the Friends of Broderick Park group as well as Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper regarding volunteer cleanup efforts, routine park maintenance concerns and capital improvements in Broderick Park. Parks maintenance staff are in Broderick Park multiple days a week. There are two Police cameras in the park, one near the bridge and another near Bird Island Pier.  The City sold a $150,000 bond this spring for additional fencing and two life ring stations to address safety concerns, the project is in design with work scheduled to begin in the fall. There is also a $400,000 bond for public art keeping with the park ‘s historical context as a nationally recognized Network to Freedom site, which is currently in design coordination with the Buffalo Arts Commission. Additionally, the US Army Corps of Engineers is in construction with a project to benefit fish movement along the seawall. Friends of Broderick Park and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper are aware of these efforts.”

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.

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