A core element of Open Buffalo’s mission is working within the framework of the ecological definition to advance knowledge and advocate for a more Just Community. To understand the interdependence between all living things is a crucial step toward protecting the global climate and its delicate ecosystems to ensure that marginalized communities have uninhibited access to quality air, water, and food.
Soil Remediation in Delavan-Grider
- General Motors operated a manufacturing facility from 1922 to 2008, which later became American Axle Manufacturing.
- During GM's ownership, state records confirmed that the site contains hazardous oil, grease, & PCBs that have leached into the surrounding sewer system
- In 2006, the company was ordered to remediate the site, but they have yet to do so.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) started enforcing cleanup efforts in 2018.
- Progress has been slow and limited, covering only 5 out of 40 acres.
- As residents wait for the lengthy remediation process, the community is worried about potential adverse health effects.
- Open Buffalo has partnered with a distinguished professor and an Environmental Science Ph.D. to conduct soil testing at Buffalo State University's advanced laboratories. We are actively reaching out to homeowners in the Delavan-Grider neighborhood, offering them the opportunity to have their soil sampled and analyzed. This initiative aims to assess soil conditions and ensure a healthy, safe environment for our community.
- Sign Up: https://forms.office.com/r/ep79ZPLJGK
- Introducing the Open Buffalo Eco-Center: A dynamic, sustainable urban oasis empowering the people of Buffalo's East Side. Situated on an entire city block, the Eco-Center encompasses 22,000 sq. ft of indoor facilities and expansive outdoor spaces, designed to foster community growth, resilience, and ecological awareness.
- The Open Buffalo Eco-Center will serve as a versatile, indoor-outdoor urban sanctuary, assisting residents in crafting neighborhood-level climate resilience strategies, preparing communities of color for burgeoning green sector jobs, and employing community-building techniques to create more equitable, secure, and vibrant neighborhoods for all.
- Envisioned as a 10-acre development, the Eco-Center boasts an array of exceptional offerings:
- Highly sustainable architectural design and operations
- Beautiful, natural indoor and outdoor green spaces
- Team-building facilities, including a ropes course, walking paths, and creative play spaces
- Multi-use art spaces for educational events, performing arts productions, and diverse arts programs
- Shared spaces for organizations and individuals championing Just Transition
- A hub for organizing, strategizing, and consolidating political power
- A community store-style space offering quality food and home goods
- Gardens, composting, and a commercial kitchen to support a holistic food economy
- Publicly available Wi-Fi, technology access, computer labs, and maker spaces
- A café and co-workspace providing healthy fare and a peaceful atmosphere
- Ongoing education on Just Transition, anchored in local examples
- Leadership opportunities for participants and workers
- The Open Buffalo Eco-Center presents a unique and compelling opportunity for investors and donors who share our vision of a more just, sustainable, and vibrant future for the East Side community. Your support will help turn this transformative urban ecology center into a reality, creating lasting, positive change for generations to come.
- Fill out our community survey and give feedback on the design of the center or help provide resources: https://forms.office.com/r/q3WmAp7fuT
Ecological Justice Workshops
- Introducing our Ecological Justice Workshops: A transformative and engaging series designed to inspire action and foster a deeper understanding of environmental challenges, both locally and globally. Led by an experienced community advocate with a background in renewable energy technology and environmental design, these workshops will empower participants to become proactive agents of change within Buffalo and beyond.
- Throughout the series, you'll explore vital topics such as ecological justice, climate change, and the unique implications these have for Buffalo. Learn from successful campaigns, the UN Sustainability Goals, and the concept of a Just Transition. Engage in dynamic e-activities, including EJ Jam, Climate Warrior, and Building a Better Buffalo, which will challenge you to think critically about environmental issues and their impact on Western New York.
- Our workshop leader, born and raised in the Bronx, has over 8 years of community organizing and advocacy experience, and has collaborated with impactful organizations such as UB, Public Allies, ANHD, JCCA, The LP, and The Black Feminist Project. Join us in this exciting journey towards building equitable and ecologically sustainable urban communities.
Open Buffalo has taken a leadership role in bringing together a diverse set of partners known as the Crossroads Coalition to advance Western New York’s understanding and appreciation of energy democracy, food, racial, and economic justice. Through advocacy and community education, Crossroads drives initiatives that heal the planet, protect the environment, and uplift constituents who live on the front lines of environmental racism and our extractive, toxic economic legacy.
Justice 40 Accelerator
- Open Buffalo, as a proud recipient of the Justice40 Accelerator, stands alongside communities on the frontlines of climate, environmental, and social injustices. These communities possess the insight and innovative solutions necessary to enact transformative, systemic change. Regrettably, historical structural racism and prevailing inequitable systems have created numerous obstacles for these communities to access the resources and capacity required to implement their visionary solutions.
- The Justice40 Accelerator plays a vital role in bolstering climate and environmental justice organizations like Open Buffalo, by enhancing our capacity, fostering valuable partnerships, and preparing us to leverage government funding to bring community-driven solutions to life.
- Our proposal presents four robust strategies that promise to usher in a Just Transition for one of the most impoverished and racially segregated districts in our region:
- Empower Residents – Equip residents with the tools for community organizing and ecological justice. No longer shall they be compelled to depend solely on elected officials, state-level agencies, or academic researchers, whose interests may diverge and overlook resident involvement.
- Open Buffalo Emerging Leaders – Develop a cutting-edge, localized curriculum focused on environmental racism, featuring the DG community as a prime case study. Our ultimate goal is to nurture and elevate BIPOC leaders in the realm of environmental advocacy.
- Lending Center – Ensure residents have access to vital resources for taking control of the process and data related to toxin identification and remediation. We will acquire user-friendly air and soil testing kits and loan them to residents for sample collection on their properties or neighborhoods. Furthermore, participants in the Emerging Leaders program will receive training in equipment usage and play an active role in gathering air and soil samples for systematic testing. Open Buffalo will dispatch the samples for analysis and concurrently develop a dynamic geospatial map to pinpoint areas of concern.
- Composting – Harness the immense social, economic, and ecological advantages of composting. Our long-term vision includes the establishment of community composting hubs, enabling neighbors to collaborate and reduce waste, thereby decreasing garbage truck emissions and preventing food waste from ending up in landfills.
To learn more, get in contact with our Ecological Justice Coordinator, Tendaji Ya’Ukuu.
Call: (716) 243-8777 ext. 105