Underground Railroad Commemoration Event at Broderick Park
“Crossing to Freedom Together, Honoring Our Ancestors” on September 13th and 14th honored Ms. Lillion Batchelor & the Buffalo Quarters Historical Society. The Underground Railroad Task Force honored Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER’s dedication to Broderick Park as well. With park improvements almost complete, this was great opportunity to see this park activated with an important piece of local history!
Construction Underway at Broderick Park
Construction is underway and Broderick Park is on its way to becoming another invaluable asset to our city. Serving as a memorial to the Underground Railroad, this extensive reconstruction will include a stage, an amphitheater, gardens and improved walkways allowing us all to enjoy our waterfront in a beautiful setting.
Broderick Park Upcoming Events
On Friday, September 13, 2013 from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM and Saturday, September 14, 2013 from 2:00 PM -4:00 PM, Mrs. Lillion Batchelor and Buffalo Quarters will commemorate the Underground Railroad in a special event themed “Crossing to Freedom Together, Honoring Our Ancestors.” In years past, Mrs. Batchelor was known for staging re-enactments of African-Americans crossing the Niagara River to gain freedom in Canada. This weekend, the commemoration will also serve to re-dedicate Broderick Park in its newly built amphitheatre and refurbished riverwalk. Read full press release.
About the Project
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper (BNRK) and the City of Buffalo with their consultants have developed the plan for Broderick Park. Over the past year the consultant team has worked diligently for Riverkeeper and the City of Buffalo, and incorporated input from the citizen-based Friends of Broderick Park and Buffalo Quarters Historical Society, and the general public, to develop a master plan for the Park that memorializes the unique local history associated with the Underground Railroad. See the Plan below.
If you would like to comment on the Master Plan please contact Matt Mattison at email@example.com. Comments will be accepted through close of business on Monday, July 23, 2012.
While the official Broderick Park Master Plan Advisory Committee has already been created, the ongoing Friends of Broderick Park meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend. For more information on the next Friends of Broderick Park meeting, please contact Whitney Crispell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broderick Park Master Plan Updates, News, and Notes
To date, in addition to a series of ‘visioning sessions’ conducted by RIVERKEEPER in collaboration with Friends of Broderick Park and the Buffalo Quarters, there have been 3 Advisory Committee meetings and two public meetings, all with the Consultant Team.
The Consultant Team has developed a master plan, born of various previous plans presented to the Advisory Committee, that conceptually defines what will become the ‘bones’, or foundation, for future improvements. The current, preferred concept proposes additional green space, a re-worked parking layout, an enhanced concession area, an amphitheater and performance plaza, a new family gathering area and shelter, a great lawn and large event space, a contemplative garden, a ‘Freedom Walk’ to be incorporated throughout the site, and a re-routing of the Riverwalk to create safe separation of activities that enhance both the popular angling area and the multi-modal trailway on the west side of the park.
The first Public Meeting was held on March 21, 2012 at the Belle Center. The purpose of this meeting was to inform the general public about recent proceedings and to encourage the public to offer suggestions, concerns and input on a proposed concept for the Broderick Park Master Plan. Public comments were considered, and the July 12th public meeting will provide the opportunity for the public to see the final plan.
About this Project
Broderick Park is a potential jewel in the City of Buffalo’s park system, located on the southern end of Squaw Island, with primary access from the foot of West Ferry Street, and, along with its immediate surroundings, is steeped in international, national, and local history, including, perhaps most significantly, its association with the Underground Railroad. Today, Broderick Park is a popular local attraction along the Niagara River enjoyed by people for various leisure and recreation opportunities.
Mayor Byron Brown has made a strong commitment to the revitalization of BroderickPark, and the City of Buffalo is leading an effort, in collaboration with Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER, the citizen-based Friends of Broderick Park, and Buffalo Quarters, to develop a Master Plan for an enhanced park that celebrates the ferry District’s history, especially that associated with the Underground Railroad.
Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER received funding from the New York State Department of State under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund which complements funding provided by the City of Buffalo, to hire a consultant to develop a Master Plan that will be developed for a construction budget of over 1-million dollars. Concurrently, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is performing a habitat study along the eastern and western seawalls to better understand the existing conditions of the shoreline.
In addition to assisting the City of Buffalo in overseeing the Consultant in the process, RIVERKEEPER is facilitating public outreach efforts for the project in collaboration with Councilmember David Rivera, the citizen-based Friends of Broderick Park and the Buffalo Quarters Historical Society. An Advisory Committee has been formed, consisting of over twenty members that represent the local public and various park users.