BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Get ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy needs your help to build the new playground at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.
The new playground, which will be erected Friday, September 20, will replace the old playground on the east side of the park, north of the green house and tennis courts.
“That playground is terribly old. It is falling apart,” pointed out Stephanie Crockatt, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy executive director.
The new playground will be twice the size of the old playground and will be accessible to all.
It is part of ongoing improvements to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks system.
“We’ve got about $19 million worth of projects that need to be completed over the next five years. This playground at MLK is one of them,” Crockatt said.
The new playground is being funded by grants from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield’s Blue Fund, and the group KaBOOM!
Community members who use the park and playground have been in on the planning since the beginning.
“The children all came out. They drew their favorite pieces of playground equipment. It was really exciting. and then they were able to pick from several different features within the KaBOOM! playlist,” Crockatt said. “And they’ve actually put together several versions of the playground. We’ve chosen one. So the community actually designed it.”
Now, it’s up to the community to help build it, too.
“It means more in the community if you are actually hands on this investment and bringing it to your park,” Crockatt said.
On September 20, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is looking for about 200 volunteers to help build the new playground, whether that’s helping with the actual construction or helping feed the other volunteers.
“It doesn’t matter your skill set, just get involved,” Crockatt said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity.”
In addition to the new playground, MLK Park is seeing other improvement projects soon, too. Those include new benches, new lighting, and path improvements, as well as other park amenities.