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Our Park,
Our Community

Ralph Wilson Park is an anchor within Buffalo’s West Side neighborhood. Generations of families have spent countless hours playing on the fields, picnicking in the park, and enjoying the waterfront. Each year, more adults and children from throughout the region discover Buffalo’s largest waterfront park.

The $110M design and development of Ralph Wilson Park began in 2018 with a lead gift from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to the City of Buffalo. Since then, funders and community stakeholders have worked to fulfill the vision for Ralph Wilson Park, adding elements that include a signature pedestrian bridge across the I-190 to increase community access to the park and the waterfront, a destination play garden for active-imaginative play, as well as a resilient shoreline to mitigate the effects of climate change and rising lake levels. 

World-class amenities will feature soccer fields, baseball and softball diamonds, tennis courts, various playground areas with custom equipment, picnic shelters and concession stands, and miles of pedestrian and bike paths. In addition to these new or revamped features, high-valued community amenities such as the swimming pool, splash pad, skate park, dog park, and football field will remain.

Community Working Group

Thousands of nearby neighbors, including kids, and dozens of organizations were involved in the multi-year community-led visioning initiative that informed the design of the future Ralph Wilson Park. With the design process completed and construction underway, the Conservancy will continue active community engagement to ensure neighbors, park users, stakeholders, and partners remain involved.

As a complement to the Conservancy Board of Directors and its committees, the Conservancy is establishing a community working group, an evolution of the Imagine LaSalle Focus Group.

To get involved in the community working group, please fill out our contact form and we will be in touch.

Community-Led Design

Imagine LaSalle was the multi-year, community-driven effort to transform the former LaSalle Park into a world-class destination that will serve the nearby neighbors and residents of Western New York as a “people’s park” and attract tourists to the region. Thousands of partners, community members, and stakeholders have been involved in the planning and designing of this signature, year-round attraction.

Nearby neighbor groups, community centers, not-for-profit organizations, and local youth and adult sports clubs were active in planning the park’s transformation, as well as leaders of signature events in the park, such as the Buffalo Funk Fest and the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Day Parade. These organizations, community leaders, and individuals will continue to play in important role in the Conservancy as park users, stakeholders, and ambassadors.

Partnerships Contributed to Process

This community-led design process was made possible through the generosity of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation in 2018, with support from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the City of Buffalo. The University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning and one of its research centers, the UB Regional Institute (UBRI), managed the engagement process to ensure broad and meaningful community input to shape the park’s future. Visit the Imagine LaSalle website for a complete timeline and documents from throughout the process.

The City of Buffalo is an active project partner represented by its Division of Parks and Recreation, the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), the Department of Community Services and Recreational Programming, and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning.