A Playful Village

The Elmwood Village is a playspace desert. Despite the residential density of the Elmwood Village neighborhood, publicly-accessible greenspace in the Elmwood Village is in short supply. People are four times more likely to use a park or playspace if it is within a mile of their home. For many residents living in the Elmwood Village, the closest public playground is more than a mile away. The Elmwood Village Association’s July 2019 Map of the Month shows walkability to public space.

Although, greenspace in our neighborhood is limited, the Elmwood Village is an imaginative and creative community. The Elmwood Village Association is working with the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church to transform the church lawn into a more inviting place for young families to gather. We want to involve the community as the organization proceeds toward playspace goals. Please fill-in the below form to receive e-mail updates and share your suggestions and ideas for making the Elmwood Village a playful village:

And, in July 2019, NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced $100,000 in state funding to bring a playground to the Elmwood Village at Elmwood Avenue and St. James Place, which has helped to revive efforts to promote play in the neighborhood!

NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan announces funding for the St James Playspace.

To learn more about the Elmwood Village Association’s work on Public Space and Play, view our 2018 Strategic Plan or read an excerpt below:

Neighborhoods within the southern end of the Elmwood Village district are some of the City of Buffalo’s least-served neighborhoods for parks and greenspaces, with many neighborhood residents living more than a mile from a public park. Further, green space within the Elmwood Village, i.e. Bidwell Parkway, is so well-used during warm weather months that many must be closed at intervals to allow for grasses to regrow! Seated between two historic districts and central to the Garden Walk Buffalo footprint, Elmwood Avenue has significant assets to build on to become a cleaner, greener, and more walkable public space and centerpiece to a garden district for the City of Buffalo. Goals relating to the public space and play priority area include: 

  1. Encouraging use of public space along Elmwood Avenue as a linear park with year-round interest; 
  2. Investing in playspaces for the next generation of Elmwood Villagers; and 
  3. Promoting the Elmwood Village as the City of Buffalo’s Garden District