Visit our FAQ page to learn more about the design process, the team, and timeline.
For specific questions about construction, visit Gilbane Building Company’s website.
For all other questions, please fill out our contact form and someone from our team will be in touch with you shortly.
Phase One of Construction is Underway
Phase one of construction began in 2022. The graphic below outlines the area of the park impacted during this phase. We anticipate this phase will be substantially complete by the end of 2024.
In addition to the site preparation and tree replacement process, the first phase will also include improvements to three baseball and softball fields, renovations to soccer fields, adding restrooms, and rehabilitating the inlet area to strengthen the shoreline and protect the park from higher lake levels and severe weather. There will also be a new pedestrian bridge across the I-190. The bridge will increase access to the park and waterfront and include new landscape landings.
The second phase of construction will begin concurrently, likely in late 2024. Many factors impact construction timing – we will continue to update the website with current status and information.
Currently Happening at the Park: Site Preparation
About 275 trees are being removed to allow for shoreline reconfiguration which is necessary for flood protection, ADA accessibility, and significant changes in topography (think: hills). About 2,680 trees will be planted as part of the park’s reconstruction. The WNY Land Conservancy is collecting seeds from local native plants and growing many of these plants from the ground up. WNY Land Conservancy will provide 50,000 plants, including trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers to the park. This tree replacement process will provide a greater ecologic benefit to our shoreline than what was there before.
Each piece of this project is designed to protect and improve the environment. Some of the trees will be used as part of a plan for submerged shoreline habitat, called a rootwad*, and the rest would be chipped up. Many of the newly planted trees will be native species and will provide year-round seasonal enjoyment, shade, and ecological benefits to terrestrial and avian species. *A rootwad is a bank stabilization and aquatic habitat improvement strategy. It is a buried or a partially buried dead tree into the stream-bank with the root system still attached. This method improves the natural habitat and enhances the bank stability.
The process will help reconfigure the shoreline to provide flood protection for the parkland and to create pathways that meet American Disability Act (ADA) standards. Residents will be able to continue to use the park during this process. The park’s design was created with the community’s help and input, and it celebrates the equity and diversity reflected in Buffalo and the surrounding community.
In addition to the site preparation and tree replacement process, the first phase will also include improvements to three baseball and softball fields, renovations to soccer fields, adding restrooms, rehabilitating the inlet area to strengthen the shoreline and protect the park from higher lake levels and severe weather. There will also be a new pedestrian bridge across the I-190. The bridge will increase access and include new landscape landings.
Once complete, the Ralph Wilson Park will be an interactive recreation space for both children and adults to enjoy. The park will feature a diverse assortment of native plant and tree species that will improve the lives of birds and other area wildlife.
Event Updates or Cancellations
Events in Ralph Wilson Park have been suspended during construction.
If you have additional questions, please fill out the form below and our project team will get back to you.