Client

NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation

Location

Buffalo, NY

Key Contact

Kim Edited 1
Kimberly Michaels, RLA, LEED AP Vice President, Director of Landscape Architecture

Buffalo Harbor State Park, the latest addition to the State Park system, stands as the first state park within the City of Buffalo. Offering breathtaking views of Lake Erie, the park features a 1,000-slip small boat harbor marina, a restaurant, boat launches, personal watercraft launches, a fish cleaning station, restrooms, and a sunbathing beach. 

Spanning 340 acres, this park was transferred from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) to New York State, becoming the 180th state park in New York’s system and a pivotal catalyst for the revitalization of Buffalo’s waterfront. In recent years, Buffalo’s waterfront has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from a once-thriving industrial and shipping hub into a contemporary lakefront district for work, living, and leisure. 

Our Landscape Architecture Studio crafted a master plan that serves as a blueprint for creating a world-class destination, drawing visitors and tourists from far and wide to experience the city’s waterfront. Within this master plan, we integrated a destination playground, picnic pavilions, and a redesigned marina breakwall, complete with a pedestrian walkway overlook, fishing access, and seating. 

Like many waterfront sites, this park was a former brownfield due to its history as an industrial working waterfront. One particularly challenging aspect of the park’s design was the presence of contaminated soil. Our Landscape Architecture Studio collaborated closely with the project team to develop comprehensive plans that delineated areas for a proposed clay cap. We also incorporated construction details that seamlessly integrated the clay cap into landscape berms, utilizing specified soil mixes to facilitate on-site disposal. 

Furthermore, our team diligently prepared construction documents for the initial phase of construction. We formulated a phased construction plan to minimize disruptions during the peak summer season, accommodating a range of new programs on the lawn space, including a carousel, festivals and events, free family movie nights, and new food and beverage options. 

Tasks Completed: 

  • Master Planning 
  • Brown Field Opportunity Area (BOA) Analysis  
  • Park and Recreation Planning  
  • Construction Drawings 

Project Photos

V06 Bell Slip
V05 upper terrace
V04 Habitat View
V03 Get Down
V02 Michigan Pier
V01 Boardwalk
CSA 8126 DC 020 reduced