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Our park,
our community

What’s going on?

Learn more about what’s happening at Ralph Wilson Park

Community Groundbreaking Celebration

Partners, neighbors, and stakeholders gathered on July 19th to celebrate the groundbreaking

Augmented Reality Experience

RWPC Seeks Inaugural Executive Director

We’re building
the future

The Ralph Wilson Park Conservancy is the not-for-profit organization working in partnership with the City of Buffalo and the community to transform the former LaSalle Park into Ralph Wilson Park, a 90+ acre waterfront destination located on the shoreline of Lake Erie. Construction on the park will begin late summer 2022.

Construction begins!

Gilbane Building Company was selected as Construction Manager for the park in June 2022, and the official groundbreaking was held in July. The Park Team will progress pre-construction and coordination over the next 4-6 months.

Increasing access to greenspace and waterfront

Construction continues on the main park, including the signature pedestrian bridge and the Great Lawn. The Great Lawn will be a location for respite and events. It will transition to a sledding hill during the winter month to ensure year-round activation.

Creating dramatic spaces

The Grove features the Edith Wilson and Linda Bogdan Gardens. It creates an eye-popping entrance as park-goers walk into the park across the pedestrian bridge.

Ensuring shoreline resiliency

Initial construction will also include the inlet, a park element which combines shoreline resiliency with ecological uplift.

Enriching the wildlife habitat

Throughout the construction, thousands of new trees and native plants will be added, as well as additional landscaping improvements.

Future construction

Future construction will include the destination play garden, blueway site to increase safe water access, expanded bike and pedestrian trails, additional sports fields/courts, and more.

Things to do

Interactive map coming soon!

Events

The park will continue to be a place to host popular community events and performances. The layout of the Great Lawn has been tailored to support a broad range of events, gatherings, and performances of different size and duration, such as Buffalo Funk Fest and the performances that follow the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade. This includes retaining the park’s open air ampitheater. We will work closely with the community to provide programming throughout the park.

Kayak

The blueway site will include a new ADA-accessible kayak launch, providing the opportunity to safely launch kayaks directly into the water. Park circulation will engage the new water’s edge, supporting park visitors and increasing opportunity for social programming.

Skate

Renovation on this Tony Hawk-sponsored skate park was completed 2022, making it the destination skatepark for the region.

Move

The new park will continue to be a favorite location for bicyclists, pedestrians, and runners. The bike trails and pedestrian paths will be lengthened and made more interesting, creating new ways to explore and enjoy the park. The Empire State Shoreline Trail connects through the park, increasing access and providing beautiful views of the waterfront for bicyclists and walkers of all abilities.

Splash

The City will continue to maintain the large splash pad and swimming pool at the entrance to the park, providing a cool respite for families during the Buffalo summer. The splash pad is open from 11am – 7pm through Labor Day, weather permitting. The swimming pool is not open this year due to a lifeguard shortage.

Dog Park

We did not forget about our four-legged friends! The popular off-leash dog playground, known as the Barkyard, will be relocated and improved.

Sport

The sports fields will be thoroughly updated, including reorienting fields to provide optimal solar orientation, improving drainage and turf systems, and replacing outdated facilities such as comfort stations. MLB and MLBPA are providing funding for the renovation of several of the softball and baseball fields. New additions include pickleball, bocce, and sand volleyball.

Play

The entire park will provide play space for kids and families alike! The destination play garden will draw families into the core park. It is designed to nurture active and imaginative play, building off Buffalo’s industrial history and the Great Lakes ecosystem. Unique features will include a large freighter, giant least bittern, and a salamander. It will incorporate water play and have discreet areas to accommodate different ages. In addition to the large play space in the center of the park, Kaboom! will be building a new play space on the 4th Street side of the park.

Explore

Nature lovers rejoice! There will be many opportunities to explore our urban environment throughout the park. The lagoon is a naturalistic environment that will feature wetland plants and attract migratory birds, brining the richness of Great Lakes ecology into the park. The Western New York Land Conservancy will grow 50,000 plants from locally collected seeds, and add many trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants that will enrich the wildlife habitat at the park, specifcally in the inlet. These plantings will provide park visitors with an opportunity to experience and learn about native plants and the wildlife they attract. Through the Land Conservancy’s outreach efforts, people throughout the region and beyond will learn about the importance of using local provenance native plants in restoration projects and landscaping.