July 13, 2019
In Buffalo Rising on July 13, 2019.
The University District Community Development Association invites you to join them on Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 12:00pm-4:00pm for their second annual Crossroads of Creativity event.
Crossroads of Creativity is a one day pop-up event that transforms the Crossroads of the North Buffalo Rail Trail and Linear Park into an interactive art, education, and play space for all ages. Crossroads of Creativity aims to highlight the public asset that connects North Buffalo with University Heights and encourages participants to reimagine the space as a place to create art, run, walk, bike, play field games, read a book, have a cookout, or simply enjoy nature.
Born out of decades of work by residents to reinvest in these underappreciated and underutilized communities assets, Crossroads of Creativity wants to continue the conversation on how these spaces will be shaped and evolve by and for the communities they serve.
“As a lifelong Buffalonian, I never knew these spaces existed or how close they were to work and home. At last year’s event, I realized the simple pleasures of a nature trail and linear park in the middle of the city.” – Roseann Scibilia, Executive Director, University District Community Development Association
UDCDA Staff worked closely with an undergraduate Urban Design class in UB’s School of Architecture and Planning to explore preliminary ideas for a Rail Trail extension. Illustration Credit: Vanhnida Chanthavong, UB S+A/P
The event will kick-off at noon with a press conference at the Crossroads announcing a $50,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds administered by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and awarded to the UDCDA. The funding will be used to support a year long community engagement and planning process identifying opportunities to extend the North Buffalo Rail Trail across Main Street and connect to an existing 1-mile long cycle track at Kensington Avenue and William Gaiter Parkway.
“Safe, comfortable spaces for families and friends to ride are pivotal to encouraging more people to bike and improving the health, social connectivity, and economy of our city,” said Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo.“We’re excited for the potential connection and expansion of our multi-use trail network and thank the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for their continued support of building a better bicycle network in the Western New York.”
“NFTA Metro is pleased to support pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, like the beautiful North Buffalo Rail Trail,” said Tom George, Director of Public Transit, NFTA-Metro. “These projects help people stay physically active, connect with their community, and safely access public transportation, we are thrilled to be part of such an important initiative.”
“Like the Land Conservancy’s efforts at the DL&W corridor near downtown Buffalo, the UDCDA’s efforts to extend the North Buffalo Rail Trail will connect people and neighborhoods together, and make Buffalo a better place to live. Engaging the neighboring communities in planning this work is incredibly important, and I am excited to see so much progress already made.” Jajean Rose-Burney, Deputy Executive Director, Western New York Land Conservancy.
Studio Artist Andrea Pawarski’s mural ‘Unity Through Community’ begins to take shape on the western abutment at the Crossroads.
Throughout the day, there will be food, games, wellness activities for people of all ages, and the chance to get to know our community partners and the resources they offer. Attendees will also have an opportunity to work alongside local Buffalo Arts Studio studio artist Andrea Pawarski on a mural titled “Unity Through Community” on site at the Crossroads. A full schedule of events can be found at www.udcda.org/crossroads.
BBQ chicken meals will also be available from the Carniverous Food Truck for $10. Funds raised through the sale will go to support youth and senior programming at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center.
Partners for the day include: GObike Buffalo, Sweet Buffalo Rocks, Buffalo Arts Studio, Exercise Like the Animals, Hustle for Health, Gloria J. Parks Community Center Senior Program, University District Community Development Association Housing Department, Reddy Bikeshare, University Heights Collaborative, the Tool Library, Grassroots Garden of WNY, University at Buffalo Community Relations, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo, Chase Lobley and his dinosaurs, the Capen Garden Walk, and more! The event is free and open to the public. Please check out our Facebook event page for more information.
The event will take place at the Crossroads of the North Buffalo Rail Trail and Minnesota Linear Park, just one mile north of the NFTA LaSalle Metro Station Park-and-Ride Lot. Please note the site is accessible from the LaSalle Park-and-Ride Lot as well as the deadend of Merrimac Street via foot and bike. If driving, please park in the LaSalle Lot.