Oxford Square Community Lot receives $600,000 for enhancements

Oxford Square Community Lot, located at the corner of Oxford Avenue and Lafayette Avenue (on the land adjacent to People Inc.’s Linwood Lafayette Senior Apartments) is now being reimagined as “a versatile, multigenerational community gathering space.”

This makeshift lot started off as a parking lot before residents living in the neighborhood took it over and created a community gathering area and play space. That was in 2011. Over the years, a number of grassroots amenities were added to the lot, including a Little Free Library with a green roof.

Eventually, the lot – now owned by People, inc. – was cast into the spotlight as neighbors with the Oxford Square Block Club called for it to become a legitimate park and playspace in a similar vein to Elmwood’s new KOMPAN Playground.

It was around the time that the playground opened on Elmwood that Senator Sean Ryan was approached by a couple of members of the Oxford Square Block Club, who asked that the Oxford Square Community Lot get a similar treatment. Instead of walking over to Elmwood with their kids, they felt that they should be able to equally enjoy the playground right in their own neighborhood.

Mathews Nielsen
Landscape Architects, P.C.

Two years later, Ryan, along with representatives from People Inc., have announced that the Oxford Square Block Club will receive $600,000 in enhancements to create a versatile, multigenerational community gathering space. This newly reimagined gathering area and playspace will feature an accessible playground, landscaping, garden, storage shed, additional seating, and new shade structures. The design reflects the needs and wants of the surrounding community.

The funding for the project is twofold:

The project will be funded primarily through a state grant secured by Senator Ryan, which will cover the site preparation costs as well as the cost of the playground and other amenities. 

The People Inc. Foundation has generously committed an additional $75,000 to cover expenses that are not covered by the state grant.

“Neighborhood gathering spaces are integral to maintaining vibrant communities,” said Senator Sean Ryan. “Having a dedicated space for neighbors of all ages to interact and pass the time provides a safe recreation option in urban environments and helps build lifelong relationships. The residents of Oxford Square have done a wonderful job maintaining the community lot for well over a decade. The addition of an accessible playground and new areas for visitors to sit and relax will make an important community amenity even more welcoming to all residents.”

“People Inc. is committed to doing all we can to uplift and enhance the communities in which we offer housing and other services,” said Anne McCaffrey, President and CEO of People Inc. “Creating safe and accessible areas for people of all ages to enjoy is part of that commitment and at the core of our mission to improve lives. We are grateful for the seamless collaboration with Sen. Ryan and the Oxford Square Block Club and very excited to move forward with these important improvements to the Oxford Square Community Lot.”

“For nearly two decades, the Community Lot has been a project of purpose and pride for the Oxford Square Block Club,” commented Jenifer Kaminsky, President of Oxford Square Block Club. “Our neighbors have committed countless hours, their personal resources and creativity to build this valued space for all of our families. We are honored and incredibly grateful to State Senator Ryan, our ‘forever partners’ People Inc., and our community of advocates for this transformational investment in the families of Oxford Square and our surrounding neighborhoods.”

The post Oxford Square Community Lot receives $600,000 for enhancements appeared first on Buffalo Rising.

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