Weekly Feature

2011-01-19 / Local News

Amherst resident chairs Olmsted Parks’ board of trustees


Joyce Joyce A combination of factors led to Anne Harding Joyce’s passion for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

Eight years ago, the Amherst resident was asked by a friend to co-chair the inaugural Frederick Law Olmsted Gala. Then she saw a series of photos from the 1950s depicting the removal of trees along Humboldt Parkway to make way for the construction of the Kensington Expressway. She was hooked.

“All of the trees were cut down, and all that were left were stumps,” said Joyce. “The next picture is of bulldozers for the 33. It completely took apart that neighborhood. It’s one of the saddest pictures. When I saw it, I wanted to do whatever I could to help restore those beautiful places.”

Since 2005, Joyce has been on the Olmsted Parks Conservancy board. She was named chair of the board of trustees in June. It is a two-year term.

Joyce said the board has 24 members and oversees the mission of the Olmsted Parks: to preserve, protect, restore, enhance and ensure the maintenance of the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in Buffalo. There are six major parks within the conservancy: Delaware, Martin Luther King, Front, South, Cazenovia and Riverside, along with several parkways and circles.

Joyce said that over the years, the parks have undergone many unfortunate changes. She said the conservancy has completed a $500 billion restoration plan for the 21st century. Joyce said it will take decades to implement.

“It is a beautiful plan for the restoration of our parks,” said Joyce. “The plan has won international, national and regional awards. It also includes a state-of the-art computerized flyover model that shows what the parks used to look like, what has happened over the years, and how we intend to restore as much as possible to the parks to their original flavor.”

Joyce is also on the conservancy’s Governance, Institutional Advancement, Gala Planning and Long Range Planning Committees. She is a trustee and chairs an ad hoc marketing committee of Goodwill Industries and is an alternate member of the Buffalo and Erie County Standing Committee of the Niagara Greenway Commission. She also was a former chair of Buffalo Prep.

An Amherst Central alum, Joyce is an emeritus member of the Amherst Central Alumni Association. She served for 20 years and is a two-time past president. She co-chaired Amherst High School’s 75th anniversary in 2005. Her husband, Bill, and daughter, Sarah Joyce Genau, are also Amherst graduates.

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