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Hundreds of trees taken down at Ralph Wilson Park

The City of Buffalo says thousands of trees will be planted to replace them.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — On Wednesday, we got an update on the construction at the old LaSalle Park. If you've driven by the park this week, you have probably noticed hundreds of trees have been taken down.

Hundreds of trees are coming down, and the City of Buffalo says thousands will be planted to replace them. The city announced these plans about a month ago.

It is all part of getting the park ready for major changes including a re-grading of much of the park and changes to the topography. They are adding hills so it isn't all flat anymore. 

Phase One of construction includes building a new bridge to the park, new Little League and softball diamonds, soccer fields, and a renovated southern end.

They expect to finish this phase at the end of 2024.

"We are planting many more trees than we're removing. In many instances, we're replacing them with what weren't very high-quality trees with native species, a much more diverse plant palate, and in addition to the trees, we're also adding shrubs and ground covers and aquatic plants. The whole ecology of the park is going to be better than what it was before," said Andy Rabb, Deputy Commissioner of Parks for the City of Buffalo.

Major construction will start this spring when part of the park will be fenced off. 

We are expecting the city to release more information about that soon.

"We're also going to be re-grading much of the park, so there's going to be more topography in the park. There's going to be hills that lead up to the bridge that's going to be constructed starting next spring. You're going to see low areas, different view sheds as you come over that bridge and look onto the lake. So the current flat topography of what was LaSalle Park when it becomes Ralph Wilson Park will be a completely changed landscape," Rabb said.

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