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by Jackie Lewandowski / Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres Blue & Gold Make Green initiative has worked to improve sustainability and recycling within the organization over the last year. Now, the Sabres are asking the fans to reduce their environmental footprint.

Throughout the year, will feature a local cause dedicated to making Western New York a “greener” place, and showing fans in the area how to incorporate conservation in their daily lives.

Take a look at this week’s profile on Buffalo In Bloom.

(Google Images)
With springtime fast approaching, Buffalo is beginning to Bloom.

Helping it along is an organization founded by Kate Bukowski. An ode to her experience volunteering for the 1993 World University Games, Buffalo in Bloom was created to beautify the city of Buffalo through gardening.

With similar initiatives popping up in cities across the United States and even parts of Europe, the concept of growing gardens to help revive the look and feel of a city is gaining ground.

“I think gardens do make a big difference and when people are outside they get to meet their neighbors, and it makes you more aware of your area,” Bukowski said.  “Studies have looked at the crime rate and gardens, and areas with gardens tend to have less crime rates; the idea being that there is less vandalism if the area looks nice.”

Since its founding in 1995, the goal of the organization has been to make Buffalo the “World’s Largest Flower Arrangement” and has been successful at doing so.

With 3,700 gardens planted and recognized across the city of Buffalo in 2009, Buffalo in Bloom is proving that beautification starts in any area.

“We are city-wide and the first 8-9 years we planted six circles across the city, and had the members in those neighborhoods help out,” Bukowski said.  “There are gardens are in all sections of the city, and some of the most pretty are in the least expected places of the city.”

Such places include virtually abandoned areas on the west side and streets like Kehr Street and Prospect Avenue. 

The organization does not just focus on the underpriviliged.  In fact, some of the highest valued homes across the city have had their garden “bloomed”. 

The concept is rapidly becoming a major selling point in the real estate market in Buffalo.  More and more people are using their gardens from the organization as a selling point.

“They improve the look of your property and since Bloom started a lot of ads for real estate will say ‘Buffalo in Bloom Winner’ and people take that pride in having been recognized,” Bukowski said.  “I never had any idea that people would be so proud of being recognized, and that it has lasted so long and has been as successful as it has been.” 

To commence the spring season, Buffalo in Bloom will be holding their Sixth Annual Spring Kick-Off event on Saturday, May 15 in the Lobby of City Hall in the Historic Niagara Square.

Beginning at 10:30 am, the event works to connect gardeners across the city with each other and with previous “bloomed” gardeners from 2009.  There will also be a plant exchange available, as well as pH testing for your own soil quality.

In addition, the organization is currently accepting applications for potential garden scouts for their 2010 growing season. Scouts must go through training by attending at least one class in the months of May or June. 

For more information about Sixth Annual Spring Kick-off Event, or to volunteer as a scout or donate to the cause, visit the initiatives’ website at

For more tips on staying healthy and going green at home, or to become a Green Team Member, click here.
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