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DeWitt Recreation Area

June 23, 2018 - 6:47am

Press release:

Join the Genesee County Parks along with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club and try out fishing at DeWitt Recreation Area today, June 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.! Perfect for beginners!

Program meets at Pavilion 3. DeWitt is located on Cedar Street, Batavia. Friendly guides will be on hand to assist you.

No fishing license required, this is part of NYSDEC’s Free Fishing Weekend!

Fishing tackle and bait provided by Smith’s Great Outdoors, formerly known as Hunters Landing. Fishing poles provided by Cabela’s of Cheektowaga or bring your own.

Kids up to age 16 can join the fun and get the chance to win a prize with the Kendra Haacke Memorial Fishing Derby, sponsored by the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club!

Fishing Derby takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This program is FREE! Call 585-344-1122 register or walk-ins also welcome! See you there!

June 12, 2018 - 1:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, fire, batavia.

A grass fire is reported at DeWitt Recreation Area on the north side of the pond.

Access would be behind WNY Concrete.

City fire responding.

UPDATE 1:04 p.m.: A dispatcher got WNY Concrete on the phone and confirmed it is behind their building but they don't know if the fire department can get to the location from behind their building.

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: City crew on scene at WNY Concrete confirms there's no good access from that location.

UPDATE 1:07 p.m.: Best entrance, a crew member reports, probably behind Upson Maybach.

UPDATE 1:16 p.m.: There are several small fires. Firefighters are extinguishing with water cans now.

UPDATE (By Billie) 1:43 p.m.: They ended up using a tanker to put out the fire. The assignment is back in service. Parks personnel on at the scene.

April 21, 2018 - 6:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news, Earth Day.


The County's Parks Department hosted an annual Earth Day event at DeWitt Recreation area, which included events for children, a nature walk, park cleanup, and of course, plenty of people showed up to fish.

The lake is at near record-high levels, which is quite a turn around from about a year ago when you could walk on dry land out to the island.







April 20, 2018 - 3:56pm

Earth Day Celebration at DeWitt on Saturday

Earth Day is your chance to take care of your planet and your wild neighbors! Join us at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia for our “Earth Day Celebration” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st.

Help clean up the park to keep the habitat safe and healthy for wildlife! Learn to make cool stuff from recycled materials. Enjoy wild games and a naturalist-guided hike to see where animals live and discover what good things you can do for them!

Scouts can earn badge requirements and service hours! Help keep the community ecologically healthy and undeniably beautiful! Meet at Pavilion 2 for all activities. Celebration is FREE and open to the public.

Please preregister for activities by calling 585-344-1122!

Earth Day Night Hike at Genesee County Park & Forest

Celebrate the magic of spring with our Earth Day Night Hike at the Genesee County Park & Forest from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st!

Meet at the Interpretive Nature Center and explore the forest by moonlight as we search for animals, hear nature folklore and listen to the wild chorus of the night. Visit the headwaters of Black Creek and find out why April’s moon is called the Fish Moon.

Create a memory this Earth Day! Cost is $5/person, $10/family. All ages welcome. Preregistration is required, call 585-344-1122 to register!

For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

March 30, 2018 - 5:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in animals, outdoors, crime, news, batavia, DeWitt Recreation Area.

A caller reports a 14-year-old girl is throwing rocks at geese at the DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

Batavia PD dispatched.

February 3, 2018 - 10:01am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news, batavia kiwanis.


About a dozen kids showed up over the course of the evening for skating under the lights at DeWitt Recreation Area last night. The Batavia Kiwanis Club served free hot cocoa.




February 2, 2018 - 11:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.

It is once again cold enough to open the outdoor skate rink at DeWitt Recreation Area.

County Parks Director Paul Osborn said the rink will be open all day until 7:30 p.m.

The Kiwanis Club of Batavia is hosting the evening skate and will serve free hot cocoa this evening.

December 30, 2017 - 12:13pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Kiwanis Club, batavia, news, DeWitt Recreation Area.


On Friday nights, the lights are on for outdoor skating at DeWitt Recreation Area, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batavia.

This coming Friday, Kiwanis members will be serving hot cocoa from Tim Hortons to skaters who show up between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Above, Kiwanis member Peter Guppenberger.

December 2, 2017 - 5:11pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Parks, Recreation & Forestry has partnered with the Batavia Kiwanis Club to extend hours for ice skating on Fridays at the DeWitt Recreation Area! The hours will be extended till 7:30 p.m. beginning Dec. 29 until mid-March.

A true community effort continues to make it all happen with the City of Batavia Fire Department initially filling the rink with water, the Town of Oakfield Highway Department providing outdoor lighting, and Cedar Street Rentals assisting with keeping the ice surface clear of snow. Use of the rink is FREE and available at posted times.

DeWitt Recreation Area is located at 115 Cedar St. in Batavia. The outdoor rink is not monitored by staff during posted hours nor are skates provided. Skate at your own risk.

This beautiful community skating area is constructed and maintained by volunteers and staff, so we ask for your help in keeping it safe and clean for all to enjoy. Please stay off the ice on warm days and respect the “closed for maintenance” signs. Keeping off the ice when it is warm will ensure a quick reopening of the rink when the weather turns cold again!

See the parks website here for full rules and details.

Rink Hours:

Public Skate:
(Sticks and pucks are prohibited on the ice during public skate.)

  • Monday, Wednesday, Saturday -- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Thursday -- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Friday (beginning Dec. 29) -- 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Stick & Puck:

Tuesday, Thursday 2 to 4 p.m.​ (No figure skating during Stick & Puck time.)

    For more information visit our website here, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

    June 15, 2017 - 2:50pm

    Come experience the grandeur and beauty of nature like never before with our “Capturing Nature” program! Join us for Capturing Nature at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 8th.

    Learn nature photography tricks of the trade and explore DeWitt Recreation Area with a naturalist guide.

    Meet at Pavilion 1. Bring your camera or phone and create awesome art from the view right under your nose!

    Cost is $5/person, $10/family. Pre-registration is recommended. Call 585-344-1122 to reserve your spot!

    DeWitt is located at 115 Cedar St.

    June 5, 2017 - 1:57pm

    Press release:

    Get out and try a hi-tech scavenger hunt! Join us for Geocaching at DeWitt Recreation Area from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 10th.

    Create a personal alias or team name to let others know you were here. Sign up as a group or by yourself. Never geocached before? No problem! No prior geocaching experience is necessary. A tutorial will be provided, along with GPS units.

    Dress for the weather and be ready for adventure.You never know what you’ll find in a geocache. Meet at Pavilion #2 at DeWitt Recreation Area, location at 115 Cedar St. in Batavia.

    Cost is $5/person, $10/family. Preregistration is required. Call 585-344-1122 to register and reserve your spot.

    For more information visit our website at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/, or contact Shannon Morley at [email protected] or (585) 344-1122.

    May 16, 2017 - 9:50am
    posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, Ellicott Trail, news.

    Plans continue to move forward for construction of the Ellicott Trail, a 4.6-mile, east-west pedestrian and bicycle path through the Town of Batavia and around and in the City, connecting parks and other points of interest.

    Yesterday, the County's Public Service Committee recommended approval of an inter-municipal agreement between the Town and the County to construct the portion of the path through DeWitt Recreation Area, with a bridge over some wetlands.

    The path will pass north of the lake and come out at Route 5 near the Tractor Supply store.

    The bridge would be made of aluminum, said Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

    "We wanted to avoid pressure-treated timber because when it gets wet it gets slimy and slippery," Hens said.

    The bridge cost is $85,000 plus $30,000 in in-kind county labor expense, which will assist the Town of Batavia in meeting matching funds requirements for grants.

    The funds will come from capital reserves already set aside for improvements to the park.

    "It's a pretty sharp bridge," Hens said.

    The total Ellicott Trail project is expected to cost $1.7 million, and 80 percent of the cost will be covered by a state grant.

    For prior coverage of the Ellicott Trail, click here.

    April 22, 2017 - 7:19pm
    posted by Howard B. Owens in Earth Day, DeWitt Recreation Area, environment, news.


    Volunteers of all ages came out to DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia today -- Earth Day -- to help clean the park and participate in various learning activities.

    One of the activities was an "emerald ash borer game," where several children were emerald ash borers, two were volunteers and one was a park ranger. The emerald ash borers had 10 seconds to lay their eggs in as many ash trees in a wooded area (represented by small, green disks). Then volunteers would identify infected trees and the park ranger would come along and replace the ash trees with another kind of tree. The game illustrated how much faster an infestation can spread than forest rangers can act to do anything about it.






    January 15, 2017 - 5:07pm
    posted by Howard B. Owens in hockey, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, sports, news.


    Conditions were just right this afternoon for a group of young hockey players to get some practice time in at the outdoor skating rink at DeWitt Recreation Area.


    December 20, 2016 - 1:14pm
    posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.


    Tim Hens clears snow from the new outdoor ice skating rink at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia and he said the rink should open today, but if not today, tomorrow.

    The rink was made possible when the Town of Oakfield donated it to the county for use in DeWitt.

    Most days while there is ice will be open skating, Hens said, but he anticipates having puck and stick days (no hockey games, and there are no nets) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

    Staff from Cedar Street Sales and Rentals are helping maintain the rink during the winter.

    September 24, 2016 - 1:54pm
    posted by Billie Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.

    Mercy medics are responding to DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street in the city for the report of a child with a fish hook accidentally caught in his/her mouth.

    September 20, 2016 - 4:42pm
    posted by Howard B. Owens in aquifer, batavia, DeWitt Recreation Area, news.

    All summer, we've watched the water level drop at the lakes off Cedar Street, including DeWitt Recreation Area, where a land bridge that probably hasn't been seen since the 1970s re-emerged as WNY has suffered through a rare drought.

    Yesterday, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens told county legislators that the level has been dropping about a third of a foot every two weeks, but this afternoon we learned that trend may be reversing.

    Jim Ficarella, superintendent of water & wastewater for the City of Batavia, said he took a new measurement of the aquifer this morning and found it has risen more than a third since his previous measurement.

    The aquifer not only supplies some of the city's water, it also replenishes the lakes.

    The aquifer level and the lake levels have dropped pretty much in unison, Ficarella said, but there may be a lag in replenishing the lakes as the aquifer comes back.

    Of course, it will take more rain, and in the winter, more snow, for the levels to recover to pre-drought levels.

    Meanwhile, the city and county have an ample water supply from the Monroe County Water Authority.

    September 20, 2016 - 11:08am
    posted by Howard B. Owens in County Highway Dept., news, DeWitt Recreation Area.
    As part of his department review before the Public Service Committee on Monday, County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens said the water level in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area is at a historic low, at least in the time that it's been part of a park, because of the ongoing drought. Hens said he's heard rumors, and received media inquiries, about a nearby production plant drawing more water from the aquifer, causing water levels to drop. He said that's not true. The aquifer is lower because of the drought, which means the lake isn't getting fed as much water. It has nothing to do with any unusually high usage by the plant or the city. The water level continues to drop about a third of a foot every two weeks, Hens said.


    Highlights from the department review presented yesterday by Tim Hens, county highway superintendent, to the Legislature's Public Service Committee:

    • When Hens started in 1998, County Highway had 45 employees. Now there are 27 doing more work. "We're definitely way more efficient," Hens said. "Still, we could use another body or two."
    • The county received no federal aid this past year for bridge and culvert replacement and repair, Hens said. He said the county continues to fall behind on maintenance needs. There were five culverts replaced in 2016. "We're trying to chase down more grants," he said. 
    • Shannon Morley, Genesee County conservation education programs coordinator, is doing a great job of creating programs that get people out to the park, Hens said. A recent meteor shower event attracted 90 people out to Genesee County Park & Forest. About 80 percent of her salary is paid for by two grants totaling $36,000.
    • The sewer and water connections for the new bathrooms at DeWitt Recreation Area are completed. Now the county is waiting on National Grid to complete electrical hookups and then the interior can be completed. Ideally, the work will be done by winter, because ideally, it will be a good winter for ice skating and the county can install and get up and running with the ice-skating rink donated by the Town of Oakfield. Hens said several people have stepped forward and volunteered to help run and maintain the rink, including Cedar Street Sales and Rentals, which has offered to "sort of adopt" the rink. There's just some liability issues to work out, Hens said. 
    • Bids will go out soon for stone restoration work at the County Jail/Genesee Justice building. 
    • The airport continues to be cash-flow positive for the county, Hens said. Jet fuel sales continue to rise, in part because the county keeps its prices lower than competitors. The strong cash flow will help the county more quickly pay down the bond debt for the new terminal and hangar. Next up for construction work at the Genesee County Airport is demolition of the old terminal building. Grants have already been secured for that project. Plans are in the works for two more 10-bay hangars. Each of those should generate about $30,000 a month in lease payments. The county has about $600,000 in state grants for the $900,000 project.
    September 13, 2016 - 8:18am
    posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.
         Kyeongseop Woodhams

    UPDATED 8:50 a.m.

    The 25-year-old man from South Korea whose body was found in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area on Labor Day went by the name locally of Kevin.

    His maiden name was Kim.

    According to Det. Todd Crossett, Kyeongseop Woodhams lived in Genesee County and his only family in the United States was his husband. He has not been identified.

    His husband reported him as missing to the State Police sometime Saturday, according to Det. Todd Crossett.

    The cause of death has not been determined. Investigators are waiting on the results of toxicology tests, which could take a couple of months.

    Woodhams was identified first by a person at the scene when his body was found shortly before 9 a.m., Sept. 5. His identity was confirmed with his visa, according to Crossett.

    There were items found at the scene, including fishing gear, but Crossett did not specify what other items might have been found. (CORRECTION: We missed the word "not" in the e-mail message from Crossett. We apologize for the error).

    Crossett said Woodhams was last seen late Friday night or early Saturday morning.

    Anybody with information that may assist in the investigation is asked to contact Crossett at (585) 345-6353.

    September 12, 2016 - 2:41pm
    posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.
         Kyeongseop Woodhams

    The young man whose body was found on Labor Day in the lake at DeWitt Recreation Area has been identified by police as 25-year-old Kyeongseop Woodhams.

    Woodhams is originally from South Korea and notification of the next of kin required the assistance of Sen. Charles Schumer's office.

    The cause of death has not yet been determined and investigators are awaiting results from toxicology tests to see if that provides any clues.

    There were no signs of trauma.

    Investigators are asking that anybody who may have seen Woodhams between Sept. 3 and Sept. 5 to contact Det. Todd Crossett at (585) 345-6353.

    The park opened at 6 a.m. on Labor Day and a fisherman discovered Woodham's body at 8:54 a.m. and immediately called police.

    The body was partially submerged. 

    A scuba team searched the area where the body was found, in the southeast corner of the lake, behind the land bridge created by historically low water levels, but investigators have not revealed if any items of interest were located.

    No further information has been released about Woodhams.


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