BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Civic leader Kevin Gaughan's plan for a redesign of two golf courses at public parks in Buffalo has received key backing from the National Association for Olmsted Parks.

Gaughan has enlisted the help of golf legend Jack Nicklaus and his team on a plan to redesign the course at Delaware Park to restore some of the meadow, and rebuild South Park Golf Course at a new location near the current one. Nicklaus has agreed to assist the project if Gaughan's idea is approved by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.

"The work of the world's finest golf course designer," said Gaughan. "And doing that not for the affluent people in some posh suburb, but for inner city residents right here in Buffalo."

Gaughan's proposal calls for restoring designer Frederick Law Olmsted's original vision for South Park with an arboretum, or tree collection, where the golf course is now. It also includes an educational center to train youths for jobs relating to the environment.

Gaughan says his budget is $42 million, but will fund it completely through donations from private citizens, organizations and corporations —  at no cost to taxpayers.

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is considering other ideas, but Gaughan hopes for final approval in the next several months.