BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is celebrating a huge gift from the original owner of the Buffalo Bills.

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has awarded a $3 million grant to the Conservancy. The money will go toward new five-year capital projects — including upgrades across the parks system.

The Conservancy also announced a 12-year public-partnership agreement with the City of Buffalo.

“Our new partnership agreement with the City is a huge accomplishment and this incredible grant continues that surge of excitement,” said Conservancy Board Chair Elizabeth McPhail. “As a nonprofit that currently operates without an endowment, our goal via these funds is to inspire all of Western New York to continue investing in our mission, our historic green spaces and our collective quality of life. We cannot thank the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation enough.” 

“Frederick Law Olmsted understood 150 years ago, when he first toured Buffalo, that parks provide an opportunity to connect people and place. The historic Olmsted Parks and the entire City of Buffalo park system provide greenspace for thousands of people every day from across the city to walk, play, or simply connect with nature,” said David O. Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “The strong collaboration between the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and the City of Buffalo ensures that this opportunity will continue to exist for generations to come. We’re proud to support this work and help sustain what Olmsted described as the ‘best planned city in America’.”

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The project also includes funding for a fundraising feasibility study, a facilities and revenue-generation study, a business modeling study, as well as a strategic planning update for the Conservancy.