Delaware North donates $300,000 to Olmsted parks for trees, youth program

Feb 9, 2017

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is getting a financial boost from one of downtown's corporate giants to help its forestry management, while furthering a summertime educational opportunity for local youths.

Delaware North Companies will donate $300,000, paid in three installments through the year 2019. The money will support the park system's ongoing effort to maintain its estimated 14,000 trees.

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy executive director Stephanie Crockatt speaks during a news conference inside the headquarters of Delaware North Companies in downtown Buffalo. The hospitality and food service giant is donating $300,000 to the park system to support its forestry needs. Frok left to right, Buffalo mayor Byron Brown, Delaware North Co-CEO Louis Jacobs and Delaware North executive and Olmsted Parks Conservancy Chair Kevin Kelly listen.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

"It will allow us to invest in our personnel, our tools and our specialized gear that they use in order to stay safe and productive," said Stephanie Crockatt, executive director of Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. "In addition to that, (Olmsted) Forestry will be able to better engage and train part-time summer youth with the city, to help our basic forestry tasks."

That youth training is held in cooperation with the Buffalo Employment and Training Center, and Mayor Byron Brown's Summer Youth Program. That program is among the reasons Delaware North is providing its money for the Conservancy.

"They do great work to perpetuate our city's iconic green spaces," said Delaware North Co-CEO Lou Jacobs. "Environmental stewardship is very important to Delaware North. We proudly operate hospitality and food service in some of the most incredible natural settings in the world. Today we're honored to support conservation efforts in our hometown."

Jacobs said Thursday's announcement is especially personal for his family, pointing out that his parents' East Aurora home is among the last in the U.S. to feature residential landscaping designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed Buffalo's park network.