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Posted on: April 29, 2020

Mayor Brown Announces City to Open Erie Basin Marina and Golf Courses This Week–But With Guidelines

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Olmsted Golf Course COVID-19 Guide 2020Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today announced that the City of Buffalo plans to open Erie Basin Marina to boaters this week, as well as the opening of two of three golf courses in Buffalo. Both will start off the season with a new set of rules aimed at limiting close encounters during the coronavirus pandemic. The City of Buffalo Department of  Public Works, Parks and Recreation, in coordination with the City’s vendor, Smith Boys, and New York State guidelines, is on schedule to open Erie Basin Marina to boaters on Friday, May 1st. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, in coordination with the City of Buffalo, Erie County and New York State guidelines, is planning to open the Delaware and Cazenovia golf courses on Saturday, May 2nd (weather and course conditions permitting). South Park’s nine-hole course will not open, as it is currently too wet and will require condition improvements before opening to the public.

“This is the new normal,” stated Mayor Brown.   “Buffalo offers an abundance of great outdoor activity for everyone,    from well-maintained golf courses to scenic waterways that highlight our City’s natural beauty. Our new normal continues to provide our people with a safe and enjoyable environment. Our goal is to ‘build back better’ after COVID-19 and that means assisting both boaters and golfers in developing safe habits on the water and on the golf course.”


ERIE BASIN MARINA UPDATE

A temporary Density Reduction Plan (DRP) will be in place at the Erie Basin Marina, beginning May 1, 2020 and will continue until the Governor’s Office removes the restrictions. Fortunately, the design of the Erie Basin Marina is very supportive to effectively implement this plan. Below is a list of some of the new guidelines, in a continued effort to provide a safe and secure environment that boaters and City residents can enjoy during these challenging times.

  • Since the main docks at Erie Basin Marina have gated access, social distancing signs are being placed at each entrance.
  • All gates will be kept locked with only access by slip-holders, staff, security and emergency personnel.
  • Signs are in place notifying all slip-holders that there will be no loitering on the main docks or congregation on the docks; this will be enforced.
  • The main docks are 12 feet wide, plenty of room for slip-holders to practice social distancing while going down to their boat and returning to the parking lot, however no dock-boxes can be placed on the main piers in order to maintain the 12 feet wide clearance.
  • The hourly patrols by staff and security will be monitored by the current Deggy® system. All violations will be logged in the security book and brought to the attention of the on-site manager.
  • At each hourly patrol interval, the gates to the main docks as well as the push button to open the gate on the inside will be disinfected with Marine Spray Nine which is an approved disinfectant on the CDC list of approved commercial cleaners.
  • CDC Social Distancing notices have been strategically placed throughout the marina for both the slip-holders and the general public that utilize the marina for recreational purposes.
  • All of the restrooms, including the boater’s bathrooms and showers, will be closed until further notice.
  • In addition, the Observation tower at the North end of the Marina will be closed to the public.
  • The ship’s store will remain closed until further notice.
  • The fuel dock will be open, however, there will be a 1 boat limit on the dock at any time.
  • All Erie Basin Employees and security staff have been provided, at no cost to them, protective face masks, gloves and personal hand sanitizing liquid.
  • A security staff will patrol the common areas of the marina to enforce the social distancing regulation. If violations are found, the public will be asked to comply with the guidance and if they fail to do so, they will be reported to Buffalo Police.
  • The picnic tables and benches are being removed, and caution tape will be placed on any benches or seating areas that are not removable to prevent congregation.
  • The public boat launch will have all the CDC social distancing and COVID-19 signage appropriate for public recreational areas.
  • The public launch ramp will be monitored and patrolled by the hourly security and staff patrol.
  • Transient dock requests are, for the most part, handled by email or telephone. The transient boaters will be instructed as to the current DRP in place. They will not have to check in at the fuel dock, but rather be directed to proceed directly to their slip. A staff member will meet the boat there, while wearing the appropriate PPE to give the boater the card keys and get the credit card information for the rental payment. We will be giving all transient boaters a hand-out which will detail the DRP that is currently in place.
  • All slip-holders will receive the DRP via email and regular U.S. Mail so they are all aware of the protocols in place for their protection and the protection of others.
  • Any violators of the DRP will be warned consistent with our established violation protocol.
  • Pump-outs to boaters will be offered at no charge until further notice.

GOLF COURSE UPDATE

According to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the open golf courses will operate 7 days a week, typically from 8

a.m. until 8 p.m., with course maintenance closures noted on the Conservancy’s website. Contact-free golf transactions have new requirements and golfers are advised of the following:

  • Golf season passes and individual rounds are ONLY for sale online through the Conservancy’s website at www. bfloparks.org/golf
  • All golf purchases and tee time reservations must be completed at least one full day in advance. No walk-on or day- of purchases allowed.
  • No cash transactions, credit card exchanges or retail pro shop sales are allowed.
  • No motorized or pull-carts will be available for rental. Only walking or self-owned pull carts are allowed on the courses.
  • Golfers must provide proof of purchase upon arrival via verbal reservation number, printed receipt, or season pass verification.

A seasonal golf pass allows City of Buffalo residents and non-residents golf access at all three Olmsted-run courses during the season: Cazenovia Park and South Park, (both 9-hole courses), and Delaware Park (18-hole course). Pricing is available on the Conservancy’s website.

The Conservancy has invested in two talented greenskeepers who have added to the professionalism and improvement of maintenance and quality of the City’s courses. As part of golf’s new normal, maintenance and security (aka Rangers) are considered essential workers. All staff have been trained to implement the latest social distancing policies and procedures as recommended by the CDC, New York State Golf Association and the United States Golf Association.

Rangers will serve as both reservation check-in and on-course monitors.

“A great deal of thought and coordination with Mayor Brown, his staff, and our team has gone into this reactivation plan, “said Stephanie Crockatt, Conservancy Executive Director. “We feel this recreational option will be successful and set a positive example in Buffalo, if we receive the care and cooperation we expect from the golfing public. We must play safe and smart.”


Other requirements and safety protocols include:

  • Tee times will be staggered to 14-minute intervals in alleviating course density
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other golfers
  • No guests, caddies or non-golfers will be permitted on the course
  • Do not shake hands before or after your game
  • Do not share clubs or any other equipment
  • Leave the flagstick in the hole; Inserts are in place to limit golf balls
  • No rakes or ball washers will be on course; course benches will be wiped daily
  • No pro shop, clubhouse or concessions access or sales at this time
  • No portable toilets will be provided on any of the golf courses
  • Leagues and Tournaments are currently suspended
  • Parking remains limited as Delaware and South Park Ring Roads are currently closed

For more information on Golf at Buffalo Olmsted Parks visit https://www.bfloparks.org/golf/ For online assistance or questions Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.–3 p.m., please contact Dave Hoover, Golf Manager at 716-465-5463 or Patty Wolfsohn at 716-310-0865.

 

About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy


The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation, through a unique public-private partnership,    to manage and operate an entire urban park system consisting of more than 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Conservancy is an independent not-for-profit, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. Since 2004 the Conservancy has held responsibility for the management and care of these nationally registered historic green spaces, and in 2019 the Conservancy and City signed a new 12-year partnership agreement with an approved update to its

five-year plan for the Olmsted parks in continuing to assist the City in bringing recognition to its collective renaissance. Designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted more than 150 years ago, these 25 iconic connective spaces represent the nation’s first urban park system. More than 2.5 million visits occur in Buffalo’s Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America, The Guardian publication named Buffalo’s Olmsted park system as one of the best park systems in the world, and in 2018 the Conservancy set a Guinness World Record in historic Bidwell Parkway. www.bfloparks.org


The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes:

Six parks: Cazenovia, Delaware, Front, Martin Luther King, Jr., Riverside, and South parks Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond

Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony

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