Wintermission Buffalo is a bold initiative to make it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with one another, visit public spaces, and be active in winter.

Dread winter? Love winter? Whether you hibernate or celebrate, we want to hear from you! Complete the Wintermission survey and tell us what you like about winter in Buffalo, and what you’d like to improve.

Find the Wintermission team to share your ideas in person at the following events:

Saturday, March 9
1:00 – 2:00 pm at Mayor’s Civic Innovation Eco Challenge at Bulger Communication Center, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave.

Sunday, March 10
3:00 – 5:00 pm at the neighbourhood party in MLK Park

Monday, March 11

4:00 – 4:30 at Hope Refugee Drop-In Center, 248 W Ferry St.

Tuesday, March 12

11:30 am – 12:30 pm at Buffalo Central Library, 1 Lafayette Sq.

12:00 – 2:00 pm at Broadway Market, 999 Broadway

7:00 – 8:00 pm at Gloria L. Parks Community Center, 3242 Main St.

Wednesday, March 13

9:00 – 10:30 am at Erie Community College – City Campus, 121 Ellicott St.

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm at West Side Bazaar, 25 Grant St.

3:00 – 5:00 pm at Buffalo City Hall, 65 Niagara Sq.

6:00 – 8:00 pm at Imagine Lasalle workshop at Waterfront Elementary BPS #95, 4th St.

Background

The Wintermission program was created by 8 80 Cities, a non-profit organization based in Toronto, Canada. 8 80 Cities exists to create safe and happy cities that prioritize people’s well-being.

Through this project, we set out to combat social isolation and increase levels of physical activity in winter for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

Wintermission Buffalo will unfold in three phases:

    • Engage
      First, we’ll spark a city-wide conversation about life in winter.
    • Launch
      Ideas from the community will help shape a series of exciting new projects and events to be launched in winter 2019-20.
    • Strategize
      Finally, we’ll develop the Buffalo Winter City Strategic Plan with policy and planning recommendations to make Buffalo a vibrant winter city.

Timeline

November 2018
8 80 Cities launched a competition to select project partners in three U.S. cities. More than 60 applications were submitted by cities across the country. Buffalo was selected to be a Winter City Vanguard, along with Leadville, CO and Eau Claire, WI.

January 2019
Members of the three Wintermission city teams convened at the Winter Cities Shake Up conference in Saskatoon, SK.

March – May 2019
Residents in Buffalo will have opportunities to send ideas and feedback on what they love about winter in Buffalo and what could be improved.

November 2019 – March 2020
A series of new projects and events will be launched based on ideas received from the community. These pilot projects will be evaluated to determine their impact.

April – October 2020
The Wintermission Buffalo team will work with local partners to develop a Winter City Strategy with longer-term policy and planning recommendations to make Buffalo a vibrant winter city.

Winter in Buffalo

Memorable winter weather events such as “The October Surprise” and “Snowvember” are fundamental to Buffalo’s collective resilience. Since the iconic “Blizzard of ‘77,” the city has experienced six severe winter storms, the most recent of which culminated in nearly eight feet of snow and required the dispatch of the National Guard.

However cold Buffalo winters might be, its citizens and mayor are committed to the challenge. Through Wintermission, Buffalo wants to facilitate equitable public activity that shows it to be a creative, inclusive, engaging, and fun place to live, work and visit during winter. The city’s Wintermission plans include incorporating community into the developmental and implementation stages of winter programming further cultivating social cohesion between residents and the institutions who serve them.

Beyond the cities evolving efforts to address winter weather, the city has also committed to the World Health Organization’s standards of an “Age-Friendly City.” We are certain that Buffalo will further its internationally-renowned winter-wonderland status for all and transcend Wintermission and winter itself towards a more engaged and connected “City of Good Neighbours.”

Partners

Wintermission Buffalo is led by the City of Buffalo, with support from 8 80 Cities, the Children & Nature Network, and the National League of Cities.

This program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at CAF America.

Buffalo’s Winter City Coalition also includes GObike Buffalo, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy; Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation; UB Center for Successful Aging; Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation; SABAH, Inc.; Niagara River Greenway; Buffalo Place; Jes Breathe Block Club Association; Jericho Road; Buffalo Board of Block Clubs, Inc.; Independent Health Foundation; Westminster Economic Development Initiative; Buffalo Rising; The Tool Library; PUSH Buffalo; Visit Buffalo Niagara; HEAL International; Explore Buffalo; Project M.O.V.E.

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