The Conservancy and the Issue of Diversity

The Buffalo News staff reporter Tom Buckham wrote an article about the future of The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy role as manager of the city’s six Frederick Law Olmsted designed parks (Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, MLK, Riverside and South) and the adjoining parkways and roundabouts. Donn Esmonde has also written a subsequent editorial about the pending relationship between BOPC and City Hall.

Erie County is slated to return charge of the city’s parks and recreational sites from The BOPC to the city at the end of the year. The origin of the group began in 1978. The BOPC is a “not-for-profit, membership-based community organization”; you can read more about The BOPC here.

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has done a wonderful job with the maintenance and beautification of the city’s parks and parkways. The maintenance of the Olmsted parks system by the Conservancy and its volunteers is not the issue of contention.

The issue is the lack of diversity within the management and administrative components of The Conservancy.

Implementation of work programs for disadvantaged youth, women and men does not justify devaluing the important issue of a comprehensive diversity plan that includes executive management and administrative staff as well as jobs and training programs for the economically disadvantaged.

Does The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy have a comprehensive diversity plan? If so, what is that plan? If not, what efforts are being made for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive plan?

Voice your concern and opinion. Thomas Herrera-Mishler, CEO and President and The Conservancy may be reached by email at, by telephone at 716.838.1249 or by snail mail at The Parkside Lodge, 84 Parkside Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14214.


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