To be allocated over three years, the gift includes $1.5 million in matching funds to leverage additional community support for capital projects; $900,000 for park operations, including labor and equipment costs; and $600,000 for capacity-building initiatives, plan development, a fundraising feasibility study, a facilities and revenue-generation study, and a business modeling study. The conservancy recently renewed a twelve-year partnership agreement with the city, while its board approved a five-year master plan that calls for an estimated $19 million in improvements across the Olmsted parks and parkways system.
"Our new partnership agreement with the city is a huge accomplishment and this incredible grant continues that surge of excitement," said BOPC board chair Elizabeth McPhail. "As a nonprofit that currently operates without an endowment, our goal via these funds is to inspire all of western New York to continue investing in our mission, our historic green spaces, and our collective quality of life. We cannot thank the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation enough."
"Thank you once again to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for its continuing commitment to the City of Buffalo and its residents," said Buffalo mayor Byron W. Brown. "From the more than $100 million the foundation has earmarked for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, greenways and trails, funding to promote creative physical activity across our city, to today's announcement of $3 million to support and enhance Buffalo's Olmsted Parks, the foundation continues to ensure Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.'s legacy as a true champion of the City of Buffalo."