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CANCELLED: Break Week=Earth Week at Richmond library

By Katie Elia

Break Week is Earth Week

Every day during break week (4/6-4/11) at 2:30pm the Richmond Memorial Library Children's Room will be hosting programs celebrating our environment and conservation.

Registration is necessary - we want to have plenty of supplies for everyone; call us 585.343.9550 ext. 4. Recommended for all ages; Children under 5yo will need an adult.

Monday (4/6) Farm in a Glove

Tuesday (4/7) Scrap Art with the Scrap Lady

Wednesday (4/8) Gen County Parks activity

Thursday (4/9) Edible Quakes

Event Date and Time

Preregister for 'Watching Monarchs' Sept. 7 at GC Park & Forest

By Billie Owens

Press release:

East Bethany – Capture the last few days of summer with a visit to the butterfly meadow and a journey into their world with the "Watching Monarchs" program at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center.

It will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7th.

See how butterflies are tagged and released as part of a nationwide Monarch Butterfly Conservation Project.

This program is recommended for ages 4 and up. Kids explore the meadow with nets and bug catchers!

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

For more information visit our website at, or contact Kayla Edmunds at or (585) 344-1122.

NRCS-NY announces Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds available

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Tammy Willis, acting state conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New York State, has announced funding to help protect the Great Lakes as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

NRCS will provide financial and technical assistance to help improve surface water quality in waters flowing into Lake Ontario.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow NRCS to target threats to the Great Lakes. In New York, the GLRI area includes portions of Niagara, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Cayuga, Oswego, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Wyoming, Steuben, and Allegany Counties, which drain into Lake Ontario.

NRCS in New York receives funding to provide financial and technical assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to eligible landowners and farmers for conservation work. GLRI focuses on practices that have the highest benefit for reducing water quality degradation due to agricultural runoff, including animal waste storage facilities, residue management, no-till, and nutrient management.

Applicants applying to implement practices to address farmstead resource concerns associated with livestock operations must provide a copy of their Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to NRCS by Jan. 18.

For fiscal year 2019, NRCS will accept applications for funding through Jan. 18. Applications accepted after Jan. 18 will be considered for funding in the next signup period. To apply for funding through the GLRI program interested farmers and landowners should contact their local USDA office by the above listed signup date.

For more information on GLRI visit this website.

If you are interested in applying for a conservation program please visit this website for information on applying.

You may apply by visiting your local NRCS field office, which can be located using this website.

Natural Resources Conservation Service announces application cutoff dates for conservation programs

By Billie Owens

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New York State announces Jan. 18 as the application cutoff date for the general signup for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.

Through the EQIP program, NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to participants to implement practices which address priority resource concerns, including soil erosion, water quality and habitat degradation.

Focus areas within the EQIP program include the farmstead, soil management, habitat, forestry and grazing. Examples of practices implemented through EQIP include: strip cropping, grassed waterways, forest stand improvement and manure storage facilities. 

Applicants applying to implement practices to address farmstead resource concerns associated with livestock operations must provide a copy of their Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to NRCS by Jan. 18. Applicants applying to implement forest management practices must provide their Forest Management Plan by Jan. 18.

NRCS will work with applicants to review potential resource concerns on the land included in the application and to develop a conservation plan to address the identified resource concerns. 

Applications accepted after Jan. 18 will be considered in the next signup. All applications are competitive and ranked based on national, state and locally identified resource priorities and the overall benefit to the environment.

If you are interested in applying for an NRCS conservation program, please visit this website for information on applying.

You may apply by visiting your local NRCS field office, which can be located using this website.

April 21st: Earth Day Celebration at DeWitt, Night Hike at county Park & Forest

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Earth Day Celebration at DeWitt April 21

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, or contact Shannon Morley at or (585) 344-1122.

Photos: Earth Day cleanup and nature walk at DeWitt

By Howard B. Owens

As part of an Earth Day observance, volunteers came out to the DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia to help with spring cleanup.

The walk around the park was about more than just trash pickup. It included a guided nature walk led by Amy Jessmer, from Albion, with a degree in environmental science from SUNY Brockport, where she is currently working on her master's degree. Jessmer spoke about native and non-native species and the environmental balance of the lake and surrounding habitat.

The water level of DeWitt is exceptionally low. George Squires, retired from the county's soil and water department, said he doesn't believe he's seen it this low since the 1980s.

2014 Conservation Tree & Shrub Sale

By Elizabeth Bentley-Huber

2014 Conservation Tree & Shrub Sale

Dear Friends in Conservation,

We are extending our ordering deadline and will continue to accept orders for our Annual Tree & Shrub Sale until each variety sells out. So please, if you haven't already done so, follow this link

Event Date and Time

Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee Celebrates Anniversary

By Elizabeth Bentley-Huber

Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee Celebrates Anniversary

It’s the committee’s Third Year Anniversary! Join us at our next meeting of the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the new U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Building, 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013. Phone (585) 948-5445 (All meetings are open to the public and you are welcomed to attend.)

Guest Speakers:

Event Date and Time

No wells proposed, but Stafford puts a temporary block on hydrofracking in the town

By Howard B. Owens

There are no known plans to open a hydrofracked gas well within the town limits of Stafford, but Jim Southall thought it a good idea to purchase an "insurance policy" so to speak.

At his suggest, the town board has passed a one-year moratorium on hydrofracking within Stafford.

A committee has been appointed to study the issue, according to Supervisor Robert Clement and that report will help the town determine what, if anything, it might do next related to hydrofracking.

The moritorium is part of a statewide trend over the summer of local officials throughout New York rising up against hydrofracking, even though the state already has a four-year moratorium against new wells in place now.

Fracking involves injecting water, saline and other chemicals into shale to break loose natural gas deposits that can then be extracted from the ground.

It's controversial because opponents believe the chemicals used can be carcinogenic and toxic.

Southall said he's read of cows in West Virginia being born with deformities and a whole town in Wyoming had to be closed because of hydrofracking pollutants ruining the groundwater.

As a representative of the Genesee County Fish and Game Association, owners and operators of Godfrey's Pond in Stafford, Southall thought it important to get out in front of the issue, before hydrofracking came to the area.

"With the kind of chemicals they're using, once the water is polluted, it's gone, and being a conservation club, we want to be sure that doesn't happen," Southall said.

At a public hearing on the topic a month or so ago, Clement said, there were no speakers in favor or against the moratorium.

He's not aware of any fracked wells in Stafford or any requests to open up such a well.

"For most people, I think it's a non-issue," Clement said. "I think the state will step in before anybody else does. But it's a conservation issue and I think most of them (Genesee County Fish and Game) are against it."

Wind Tamers starting to sprout in Genesee County

By Howard B. Owens

Wind Tamers -- the bright white and blue, jet-engine looking wind energy devices -- are catching on in Genesee County.

There's already one installed in Le Roy (the picture on this post is of the one we mentioned in March), and Thursday evening, the Genesee County Planning Board recommended approval of two more and a company representative said a fourth unit was recently sold in Pavilion.

In all, Wind Tamer, Inc., has sold 40 of the turbine wind machines in New York, Ontario, Canada, and Pennsylvania since the company started selling them last year, according to Glenn Steed, installation coordinator.

"We’re trying to bring wind energy to people, to areas that might not be able to support large towers or open rotor designs or anything with noise and really bring a kinder energy to wind," said Steed following Thursday's meeting.

Approved were applications from Wayne and Jane Smith at 10744 South Street Road, Pavilion, and Joseph Falcone at 10213 Perry Road, Le Roy.

The Wind Tamer was designed by Jerry Brock and it achieves greater efficiency and produces more energy than traditional windmills because of its jet-engine like design.

The design is also quieter and can be mounted at lower heights for less visibility.

These advantages, Steed said, are proving very attractive for small businesses, agricultural uses and rural residents.

"Thre’s no noise at all," Steed said. "We just had a noise study done and the results are on our Web site. They’re just really quite. There’s really no increase in the ambient noise from the surrounding area."

Prices start in the $15,000 range, but Steed said the return on investment, because of the greater energy production, is much faster than traditional windmills.

Wind Tamer is based in Geneseo and Steed said most of the materials and all of the labor so far comes from New York.

“It’s a lot of good dollars in New York State," Steed Said. "It’s a good, growing business in New York.”

Effort under way to create a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee

By Billie Owens

Here's a letter we received from the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District, which is seeking participation in creating the Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee.

It's written by district technician and coordinator Elizabeth Bentley-Huber.

Tonawanda Creek is our county’s priority watershed. Presently there is not a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee in Genesee County. My goal is to form a whole watershed effort coordinating a variety of people and organizations to work together to address common interests and concerns.

I would like to reach out beyond the political boundaries. Stakeholder identification is a key component to the formation of a watershed committee, to ensure that all interests in the watershed are represented. These stakeholders can help indentify other stakeholders who may have not been identified yet.

I am contacting you and other departments/agencies/organizations in anticipation that you may be interested or know someone in your field of expertise that would represent your department/agency/organization on a watershed committee for the entire Tonawanda Creek watershed including Erie, Niagara, Wyoming and Genesee counties.

Watershed partnerships are important to effective watershed management. Established watershed partnerships are an invaluable resource for a newly forming group and these existing partnerships can provide answers to many questions a new group may have when forming.

It is important right now to begin with the existing groups within the watershed. Several people have been in contact with me expressing interest in participating in a Tonawanda Creek Watershed Committee, including an environmental program manager and a Tribal representative, both from the Environmental Protection Agency and an engineer with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

I also have been in contact with Erie, Niagara and Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation districts. Aside from promoting better communication between counties, there is a need for technical advisement to provide general environmental information, make resources available and involve people with more expertise in specific fields in their area.

I would like to have a preliminary meeting with department/agency/organization representatives before conducting a formal meeting opened to the public due to the amount of information existing on the Tonawanda Creek Watershed.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns at (585) 343-2362. I will be happy to speak with you. If possible I would like to have the preliminary meeting in the first week of November. Please let me know as soon as possible. Thank You.

Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District

Attention: Elizabeth Bentley-Huber
USDA Center, 29 Liberty St., Suite 3, Batavia, NY 14020-3247
Office (585) 343-2362, Fax (585) 345-1815


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