In the summer, it's a splash pad. In winter, the pad transforms into an ice skating rink. This week, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is collecting new and gently-used skates at its Parkside Lodge office for skaters to use free of charge at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
This is the fourth season the fun wintertime activity has been available at MLK Park. Conservancy Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt says - weather permitting - skating is available weekdays from 1:30-5:30 p.m. and weekends from noon-5:30 p.m.
"When the ice freezes over, people can come into the Casino," Crockatt says. "There's a skate rental counter and they can come up, ask for their size. We'll have an attendant that can help them and they can put on their skates in the warmth of the Casino building and go out and enjoy the rink at absolutely no cost."
MLK's Casino is open only for skating at the moment, but soon that will change. Crockatt says the building is in Phase 3 of renovations.
"We've done the outside," Crockatt says. "We're doing the
lower level. We're getting ready to put in the elevator for ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliance and then, over the spring, we'll be working on the upstairs and our goal is that, by fall, we'll be unveiling the brand new MLK Casino as renovated. It'll be beautiful."