Arboretum Restoration Feasbility Study

South park

South Park is part of the “Best Planned City” — Frederick Law Olmsted’s park system in Buffalo, New York. The park, constructed in the late 19th century is located in South Buffalo and was originally designed as an arboretum. Just two decades after its inception, the nine-hole golf course was superimposed on the landscape, disrupting the arboretum’s collections and manipulating the gently rolling topography. 

Today, the park is on the very southern limits of the city and suffers from numerous issues. Drainage floods many of the fairways and greens, tree collections are unmarked and incomplete, and the original ring road which circumnavigates the park is used as a neighborhood cut-through. 

In 2016, KZLA was engaged by the Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy to study options for implementing the arboretum — both with and without the golf course. Our challenge is to understand the existing site conditions, including the drainage and soil makeup to understand what tree species may be appropriate in certain areas of the park, and to develop a long-term plan which allows the restoration of the arboretum while providing useful recreational and education programming for the community. 

Client:
Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy


Location:
Buffalo, NY


Size:
155 acre


Duration:
2016 to 2018