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Photo: Batavia Swing Band serenades County Park supporters

By Howard B. Owens


The Genesee County ACORNS sponsored a concert on Saturday evening at the Genesee County Park & Forest to benefit the group's conservation efforts featuring the Batavia Swing Band.

More than seventy people attended.

The band featured post-World War II swing but sampled the scope and history of Jazz music for the audience.

During these photos, the band was playing Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade."

Photos by Howard Owens.







Memorial to longtime ACORNS volunteer Dennis Wood to be dedicated Saturday

By Billie Owens


File photo (submitted) of Daisy Klein, Lee Johnson, Barbara Easton, George Squires, George Wood, Jennifer Wood and Sharon McWethy.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, the memorial created in May 2017 to honor the late Dennis Wood, an artist, professor and longtime ACORNS volunteer, will be dedicated.

ACORNS is a nonprofit "friends of the park" group that enhances the public’s experience at the Genesee County parks and fosters environmental stewardship and education.

His widow, Jenny Wood, announced that the ceremony will take place at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center. It is located at 11095 Bethany Center Road in East Bethany.

Everyone is welcome; feel free to bring picnic goodies and stay for brunch or lunch!

Dennis Wood was known to be very generous and good friend of the Genesee County Parks in many ways.

He gave his time by participating in ACORNS meetings and field trips, and attending many educational programs. Dennis donated some of his own collections to the Interpretive Nature Center and funded the purchase of children’s field binoculars for use during kids' programs at the park.

Dennis was a very talented artist, and he provided beautiful note-cards for the ACORNS to sell as a fundraiser. The cards feature some of his landscapes and wildlife paintings, and are available for purchase at the Interpretive Center.

Dennis loved to share the joys of art as a professor at GCC, and taught a beginner drawing class to the ACORNS as a volunteer training day. Dennis was a delightful person to be around and is remembered for his quiet way of making people smile and laugh.

His memorial is a fully functional artist's easel that was paid for with funding from ACORNS and a donation from Jenny Wood. It is located in the ACORNS Outdoor Learning Center at Genesee County Park & Forest.

The easel's design was created by Paul Osborn, parks supervisor, and Kurt Schwab, Genesee County Highway Department sign maintenance mechanic. It was then laser cut by Oxbo International. Genesee County Highway welder Rob Barone adapted the donated easel to install the newly created art platform, which was then painted by DJ Desjardins in the paint shop.

Run for the ACORNS celebrates 5th anniversary with event Sunday

By Howard B. Owens


Press release:

Grab a friend for some great exercise, fun and free stuff!

This race is part of the United Way of Genesee County race series, which is sponsored by LaCivita Enterprises.

Race signup includes coupons and special offers from local businesses and restaurants! This year's race will feature the first-ever Kids Fun Run! Free to youth 10 and under. Must register on race day. Age-appropriate categories and distances. Run is on a grassy playing field. Everyone is a “winner”! This 5K/10K trail run and walk is designed for people of all ages and activity levels.

Walk or run on single and double track trails through the forest, along a creek and up and down rolling hills in the Genesee County Park & Forest, with an estimated 100 feet of climb in the 10K loop. Trails are very wide and easy to negotiate (minimal rocks and roots). The course starts on asphalt and then leads into the woods for a truly beautiful run and walk through the countryside. Enjoy post-race snacks and drinks as you congratulate your fellow participants!

East Bethany – The 5th Anniversary Run for the ACORNS is Sunday, Oct. 1st, at Genesee County Park & Forest and promises to be the best event yet!

Run for the ACORNS and surround yourself in the beauty of the forest in October on trails through the woods, along with the headwaters of Black Creek and over rolling hills.

All proceeds benefit the ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the Genesee County parks with a mission to enhance the visitor experience and foster environmental stewardship and education.

Awards prizes will be given to the top overall male and female running finishers in each race. Awards will also be given to the top male and female running finishers in each age group.

Check-in begins at 8 a.m. The 10k run begins at 9 a.m; the 5K run/walk begins at 9:15 a.m. Kids Fun Run begins about 10:30 a.m.

Registration is required! The fee is $25 before Sept. 27th; $30 late registration. Those who registered before Sept. 17th will get your long-sleeved race tech shirt! Special 5th-year-anniversary shirts to participants registered for this and all other previous Run for the ACORNS races!

 Register online  or at check-in on the day of the race. Enjoy the morning in the forest and run for the ACORNS – You’re “NUTS” if you don’t! See you there! For more information visit our website or call 585- 344-1122. 

Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.

Second annual 'Run for the ACORNS' was a big success with more than 200 participants

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The second annual “Run for the ACORNS” 10K Run and 5K Trail Run/Walk was held at the Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany on Oct. 12th. Proceeds will be used to benefit Genesee County's parks.

The weather was perfect for a run on a frosty autumn morning. More than 200 registered to participate in the event. Race organizer Julia Garver said, “Participants were very pleased with the course. It is challenging and highlights the natural beauty of the park.”

The events started and finished at Area B at the park. The course wound through the park on trails which featured hills, ponds, forests and Black Creek. A dozen environmental education signs entertained runners and walkers as they passed by some noteworthy park features. First-time participant John Kirkwood, who ran in the 10K, said, “The course was great. I will invite friends to run the race next year.” The sun (and a fire in the fireplace at the park pavilion) warmed runners and volunteers when the race was over as they all enjoyed yogurt provided by Muller Quaker Dairy and Alpina and apples from Roanoke Apple Farm.

Congratulations to all the winners in the race. The overall top finishers in the 10K Run were Chad Minuto, of Batavia (43:00) and Kimberly Mills, of Basom (43:02). In the 5K Run the top male finisher was Calvin Patten, of Alexander (18:53) and the top female was Casey Arnold, of Alden (27:26). Each winner received a wooden medallion with the race logo and race category burned into the wood. Brothers-All-Natural sponsored the awards. Winners of the 10K race received a $50 gift certificate from Dick's Sporting Goods, and winners of the 5K race received a jacket from the Bank of Castile.

Many thanks to the major sponsors of the race: Awards sponsor -- Brothers-All-Natural; and the Corporate sponsors -- Attica Auto and Hardware, Bank of Castile, Conservation Connects, Fastenal and D&D Logging.

Also thanks to the volunteers who helped to make this an amazing event, especially members of ACORNS, the USN Sea Cadets and Bethany Volunteer Fire Department. Special thanks also go out to our other sponsors, all of whom helped make the Run for the ACORNS a great success!

For more information and full race results please go to:

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