Managed Meadows: Natural Beauty or Eyesore?

Rachel Kingston, WIVB (Buffalo), July 2, 2013

As part of an effort to “go green” and bring back natural habitats, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has introduced several of “managed meadows.”

Neighbors don’t mind the plants and animals, but they worry about what–or rather–who else might be lurking.

Sylvia Muldrow and some of her neighbors, who live across the street from MLK Park, are upset with the decision to create these natural regeneration areas. Muldrow worries the tall plants provide a place for would-be criminals to hide.

“Who’s to say what would happen? At night, at midnight–well, after 9–when it gets dark, you can’t see over here. You don’t know if there’s something, somebody over here,” she said.

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy has built two “managed meadows,” where native plants are allowed to flourish, in MLK Park this year. {snip}


Herrera-Mishler says these maintained meadows can contribute to the quality of life, by giving city residents a nature experience they otherwise wouldn’t have.


Managed meadows are environmentally-friendly, Herrera-Mishler notes. They save gasoline costs for mowers and labor. The brush also helps prevent runoff from washing into the city’s supply of drinking water. The meadows are part of how the Conservancy plans to achieve its goal of making the Olmsted Parks “the greenest park system in America.” They’re aesthetically and historically accurate, to Frederick Law Olmsted’s original designs.


But Muldrow says, Olmsted designed his parks for the Buffalo that was, 100 years ago. And the Buffalo of today is a different world.

“There’s a difference between 1900 and 2013. There’s crime, there’s a lot of things going on,” she said.


Muldrow believes the neighbors should have been given some say, before the habitats were built.

“We didn’t get that consideration, and I don’t think it’s fair,” Muldrow says. “We really don’t have a lot of problems over here, but why make it so it’s easy to have a problem? It’s quiet over here, but when you give them access and opportunity… you know? I don’t want it. I don’t want it where I live.”


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