Pratt Willert Community Center
Regenerating neighborhood community spaces on the city’s East Side
The Pratt Willert Community Center is an important community asset in the Willert Park neighborhood on the city’s East Side. This neighborhood center provides community meeting spaces, recreational facilities, services and programs to build healthy communities. The Community Action Organization of Western New York, a local community development organization, operates the center and provides several health and education programs for community members. The City’s Division of Parks and Recreation also offers a variety of youth athletic programs and other community services at these community centers, and works with local residents to ensure these facilities are providing services that improve quality of life for local residents.
Buffalo Sewer and City agencies recently invested in infrastructure improvements to reduce stormwater runoff from parking facilities at the community center. The removal of impervious surfaces and installation of rain gardens in the parking area at the center redirect rain and snowmelt into the surrounding soils. These rain gardens keep stormwater from entering the sewer system, while beautifying vital neighborhood spaces and educating residents on the benefits of green infrastructure. Buffalo Sewer commissioned the development of a youth STEM education program called Water Worx to connect youth participating in programs at the center with the green infrastructure projects.