Scajaquada Creek - Table of Contents ...................... Museum District - Table of Contents
Jesse Kregal /
Pedestrian and Bicycle Pathway
Recognizing Jesse Kregal
By Gerry Rising (online July 2018)
Buffalo Sunday News, September 30, 2012 (online July 2018)
A few days ago I spent several hours with Jesse Kregal. It was an honor I had looked forward to for several years as, although I had heard much about him, I had never met Jesse. Music-lovers will recognize him as a tympanist who retired from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009, but I knew about him for quite different reasons.
I knew Jesse as a leading member of a very small fraternity: those who have made major contributions to Buffalo's parks.
I met Jesse on a bright summer morning along the 2.4 mile Scajaquada Creek path that is now designated in his honor The Jesse Kregal Pathway. We began our walk along Nottingham Terrace a quarter mile west of the trail beginning in Delaware Park and walked west to the Niagara River.
As we strolled along the quiet pathway, Jesse told me how that trail came to be constructed. He conceived the idea in 1982, he said, when he was driving along the Scajaquada Expressway. Jesse is originally from Portland, Oregon where they have pathways similar to what he had in mind. Also he's a runner and he thought that it would be great to extend the jogging track around Delaware Park west to the Niagara River.
Still he had no concept of the magnitude of the project he was considering. Just as well, he told me, or he might not have taken it on.
Jesse took his proposal to the Buffalo State College Urban Planning staff who, under Steiglitz's leadership, gave him strong initial and continuing support. And this led to an early fortunate convergence of interests. Bill Hoyt and Rich Tobey were able to include $800,000 in a state highway bill to begin construction of a path section and the project was underway.
With that activity still in planning stages, Jesse was asked to present his ideas to a public hearing. Expecting to talk to a few interested people, he was surprised to find an overflowing lecture hall. Fortunately a group including architect Lowney had developed a presentation of their full path concept and community interest and support for the project was evident. A Scajaquada Pathway working group was initiated.
Other grants followed: a Department of Transportation grant for $107,000, $750,000 from the City of Buffalo and more recently $1.2 million from the New York Power Authority. Equally important were substantial gifts from local individuals and firms.
Added note: I learned after this column was submitted that Jesse was far more than an occasional jogger. He had run in sixty marathons. I find that quite remarkable.
| 2009 photos
Heading east, near Nottingham Road Lincoln Parkway.
Note Mozart statue
Along the Scajaquada Expressway (Wikipedia entry) en route to the History Museum
Just behind and to the side of the History Museum
ust past Elmwood Avenue - Scajaquada Creek is to the left behind the shrubs ... The building to the right is McKinley High.
Scajaquada Creek is to the left behind the shrubs.
Along Scajaquada Creek ... Traffic is on the Scajaquada Expressway
October 2011 photo.
"The Vision of Olmsted" Mural at McKinley High School at McKinley High School adjacent to the Jesse Kregal Pathwa