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Frequently Asked Questions

Visit this page regularly for update information on current construction and future plans for the park.

Project FAQs

Who are the design and construction partners for the park?

The park’s transformation is possible thanks to a lead gift from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to the City of Buffalo, as well as funding from make local, state, and federal partners. Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) designed the park in collaboration with the City of Buffalo, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), the University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI), and Imagine LaSalle project partners. Architecture and engineering firm schlaich bergermann partner (sbp) is leading the design and construction of the new pedestrian bridge. BUDC has hired Gardiner & Theobald for project management. A team of diverse construction firms, led by Gilbane Building Company, will provide construction management services.

Why are existing trees being replaced?

The transformation of LaSalle Park into Ralph Wilson Park came about through a community-led process with significant investment in increasing access to green space & waterfront and environmental stability. Protecting and rehabilitating the shoreline is of utmost importance to all involved.

As construction began last fall, about 275 trees were removed to allow for shoreline reconfiguration which is necessary for flood protection; ADA accessibility; and changes in topography (think: hills). About 2,680 trees will 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. They 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 will be chipped up.

* 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.

How do I get involved?

To learn more about construction-related opportunities, visit this site. To learn more about volunteer opportunities, visit our Get Involved page. Join our newsletter to stay up to date!

How do I provide feedback?

The design process is complete, but we welcome feedback during construction. To learn more about the multi-year community led process that led to the final design, visit the Imagine LaSalle website. Check out our FAQs and submit your question in the contact form

What is the project timeline?

Construction is underway! The first phase of construction will be substantially complete by the end of 2024. The second phase of construction will begin concurrently, during 2024. The entire park is slated for completion in 2025. We will continue to provide updates as the project moves forward.

How is the park transformation being funded?

The park is funded through both public and private partners, including the Ralph C. Wilson Jr., Foundation, federal agencies, New York State, the City of Buffalo, and other partners.

Is there an entrance fee to Ralph Wilson Park?

No! Ralph Wilson Park is a City of Buffalo park, and all City of Buffalo parks are free to enter. There is no entrance fee to the park and the majority of events will be free. There may be fees associated with some activities, such as kayak rentals.

Are public restrooms available now?

The rest rooms at the pool building are open when the pool is open. Currently port-a-potties are located throughout the park. After construction, ADA-accessible rest rooms will be located in several comfort stations at key locations.