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DeWitt Recreation Area

August 31, 2022 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, news, batavia, notify.

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It seemed like a good day for fishing to Ron Beback, of Depew.

Beback was in town because he runs some horses at Batavia Downs.

He went to Horseshoe Lake first but the white caps on the water looked rough so he decided to switch plans and go to the DeWitt Recreation Area.

As he was unloading his gear at the shoreline, he saw a woman in a kayak.  On his next trip back, he noticed that the kayak had flipped over.

"The gentleman that was with her was yelling over to me, 'she's flipped over; can you go out to get her? Can you go out to get her,' and I was like, sure, let me get my life preserver on, so I ran up to my truck and got my life preserver."

By the time Beback reached her, she was tired, he said.  She was swimming against the wind, making no progress, and her life vest was slipping up over her head.

"I told her to hold onto the kayak and I'll paddle you over to the shoreline," he said.

He guided her to the island in the middle of DeWitt Pond.

Soon, City Fire and members of the Water Rescue Team arrived on scene and helped her back to the west side of the pond, where she was evaluated by medics.  She had no injuries, according to Batavia PD Assistant Chief Christopher Camp.

Camp said the wind had caused her kayak to overturn.

Photos by Howard Owens

PreviouslyCity rescue crews investigating report of kayaker in water at DeWitt

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August 31, 2022 - 2:44pm

City fire rescue crews are on scene at DeWitt Recreation Area to investigate a report of a kayaker in the water.

A caller reported seeing a kayaker fall in the water, and the kayaker could not be seen at the time of the call. The kayaker was reportedly wearing a vest.

City police have blocked off the main entrance to the park on Cedar Street. There is no more information available at this time.

June 11, 2022 - 11:05pm
posted by Joanne Beck in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.

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Genesee County Park member Lewis Tandy, left, goes over the different kinds of bugs to be found in nature with Cassidy, 3, her mother Rebecca Nigro and daughter Indiana, 5, during the Family Outdoor Challenge Saturday at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia. 20220611_familyoutdoorchallenge_nserrata-2.jpg

Genesee County Park Intern Amy McLaughlin, left, goes over the Family Outdoor Challenge information at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

Photos by Nick Serrata.

June 8, 2022 - 8:24pm
posted by Press Release in news, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia.

Press Release

Batavia, NY – Seize the day with a guided kayak tour of DeWitt Lake! Join us Saturdays July 9th and 16th to explore the lake by water and discover a new world. Each day has 2 sessions. Session 1 takes place from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Session 2 takes place from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Meet at the boat launch at DeWitt Recreation Area. No experience needed, a beginner kayaking lesson is provided! Kayak rentals with life vests are provided or you may bring your own. Rentals are available for ages 12 and up, no tandems for rent.

Guided tour fee is $15/person without rental or $25/person with kayak rental per session. Pre-registration is required, call 585-344-1122!

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

April 23, 2022 - 5:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, Earth Day, environment, news.

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Troop Leader Melissa Sciortino holds a trash bag while Girl Scouts Lana, left, and Kennedy, gather garbage dropped on the ground by people at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia.

Also helping from Troop 60870 in Spencerport was Isabella.

The girls were earning badges for environment, hiking and wilderness.

The clean-up was part of the Genesee County Parks Department celebration of Earth Day at DeWitt.

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April 22, 2022 - 3:51pm
posted by Press Release in Earth Day, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, news.

Press release:

Earth Day is your chance to give back to your community and take care of the earth!!

Join us at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia for the Earth Day Park Cleanup on Saturday, April  23rd from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Celebrate Earth Day and help keep the park beautiful and the habitat safe and healthy for wildlife! Learn to make cool things from recycled materials and enjoy a naturalist-guided hike to discover natural wonders in the park. Enjoy wild games and find out what you can do each day to help the earth! Service groups, students, 4H and scouts can earn community service hours and badge requirements. Meet at Pavilion 2 for all activities. Celebration and all activities are FREE and open to the public. 

Schedule of Activities:

  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Park Cleanup Projects: Make the park beautiful and healthy for wildlife!
  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Recycled Crafts 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Field Games for Kids 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Guided Hike

Celebration and all activities are FREE! Please pre-register for activities by calling 585-344-1122! 

July 14, 2021 - 12:33pm
posted by Press Release in COVID-19, news, ILGR, fundraiser, DeWitt Recreation Area, walk, Run & Roll.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is excited to announce our very first in-person event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic! Join us in celebrating the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act with our 2nd Annual Walk, Run & Roll!

The event takes place Monday, July 26, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Pavilion 2 of DeWitt Recreation Area, 115 Cedar St. in Batavia, rain or shine.

To register, go to runsignup.com/ilgrwalkrunroll.

For $25, participants can walk, run or roll the distance of their choosing. All participants receive an event T-shirt.

Food trucks will be present, plus a basket raffle, a 50/50 raffle and a caricature artist.

Please bring your own chair! COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

For more information, call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411.

Thanks to our sponsors: BW’s Restaurant and Banquet Facility, United Refining Company, RESTORE Sexual Assault Services, R.A. Haitz Co. Inc., Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, GEICO, Fidelis, National Grid and Ken Barrett Chevrolet-Cadillac.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

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You have the power to Stop The Spread! Together, we can protect our communities and stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Get vaccinated!

In the last year, we saved NYS taxpayers over $118 million by helping individuals leave or avoid institutionalization through practicing the principles of education, empowerment and equality for persons with disabilities.

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June 15, 2021 - 2:56pm
posted by Press Release in news, DeWitt Recreation Area, ADA, ILGR, walk, Run & Roll.

Press release:

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is excited to announce our very first in-person event since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic!  Join us in celebrating the 31st anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act with our Second Annual Walk, Run & Roll!

The event takes place Monday, July 26, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Pavilion 2 of DeWitt Recreation Area, 115 Cedar St. in Batavia, rain or shine.

To register, go to runsignup.com/ilgrwalkrunroll.

For $25 participants can walk, run or roll the distance of their choosing. All participants receive an event T-shirt.

Food trucks will be present, plus a basket raffle and a 50/50 raffle will take place.

Please bring your own chair! COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

For more information, call Donna Becker at (585) 815-8501, ext. 411.

Thanks to our sponsors: BW’s Restaurant and Banquet Facility, United Refining Company, RESTORE Sexual Assault Services, and R.A. Haitz Co. Inc.

Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR) is a member of the Western New York Independent Living Inc. family of agencies that offers an expanding array of services to aid individuals with disabilities to take control of their own lives.

June 9, 2021 - 1:24pm

Press release:

Join the Genesee County Parks along with the Oakfield-Alabama Lions Club and try out fishing at DeWitt Recreation Area on Saturday, June 26th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.! No fishing license is required, this is part of the NYSDEC’s Free Fishing Weekend. Perfect for beginners!

No experience required, friendly fishing guides will be on hand to assist you. Fishing gear provided 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!

This program is FREE!

DeWitt is located at 115 Cedar St. in the City of Batavia. Meet at Pavilion 2.

Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals when unable to maintain six feet of social distance. Participants are encouraged to wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.

Call (585) 344-1122 to register or walk-ins also welcome.

June 4, 2021 - 12:22pm
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Press release:

Summer is quickly approaching and many children are eagerly waiting to hear the final school bell so they can enjoy a couple months of fun in the sun, including some family outings to the local park. New this year, families who forget to pack sunscreen at DeWitt Recreation Area won’t have to worry. 

United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC) and the Genesee County Parks Department are partnering to prevent park visitors from getting skin cancer. Through a grant provided to UMMC’s Healthy Living Program, five sunscreen dispensers have been installed throughout DeWitt Recreation Area for the 50,000 people who frequent it each year.

“Skin cancer rates are increasing every year,” said Laurie Thornley, UMMC’s Healthy Living manager. “It’s the country’s most commonly diagnosed cancer and it can be prevented. By putting these sunscreen dispensers in our local parks, we’re making sun protection more accessible. Sunscreen is a vital part of sun safety and we’ve put the solution right there for you in the park.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five million people are treated for skin cancer in the United States every year; with 37 percent of U.S. adults reported having been sunburned in the past year.

“If you forget the sunscreen at home you don’t have to worry about burning your skin,” Paul Osborn, Deputy Highway superintendent. “We want the community to enjoy the many activities DeWitt Recreation Area has to offer, from fishing and kayaking to hiking and having a picnic, but to do so in a safe manner.”

This project is supported by Health Research Inc. and the New York State Department of Health with funds from the Centers for Disease Control.

May 30, 2021 - 2:12pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, DeWitt Recreation Area, scanner.

A caller to dispatch reports there are three children playing in the water at DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street with no adult supervision. City police are responding.

May 7, 2021 - 3:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Rotary Club, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia video.
Video Sponsor

Members of the Batavia Rotary Club along with officials from the county and city were on hand today at Dewitt Recreation Area for a ribbon cutting at a new dock/kayak boat launch on the pond.

The refurbished dock is the result of grants and donations put together by the Rotary Club in cooperation with the Batavia Youth Bureau and the County Youth Bureau. The project includes 10 kayaks that will be available for youth bureau programs.

The dock and fishing pier are also open to the general public and are ADA compliant. 

May 6, 2021 - 11:05am
posted by Press Release in DeWitt Recreation Area, news, batavia, Batavia Rotary Club.

Press release:

The Genesee County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry and Rotary Club of Batavia invite you to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the DeWitt Recreation Area at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 7th.

It's for the new launch dock installed on the ADA floating fishing pier at the DeWitt Recreation Area and the kayaks that will be available to all recreational programs throughout the City of Batavia and the surrounding towns and villages. The dock is a stabilizing device that makes it safer to enter and exit your kayak. The launch dock is free to use.

Please feel free to stop by and share in the moment and even try out one of the 10 kayaks purchased.

This activity is a culmination of efforts of the Rotary Club of Batavia, City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Genesee County Youth Bureau, City of Batavia, Genesee County Legislature and County Parks to bring kayaks and an accessible kayak launch site to Genesee County Parks.

The donation was made possible by Rotary Club International/ Regional grant program, which provided funding to the Rotary Club of Batavia.

DeWitt Recreation Area is located at 115 Cedar St. in the City of Batavia.

April 25, 2021 - 2:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Trail, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, video, Earth Day.
Video Sponsor

Volunteers turned out in droves yesterday for two big Earth-Day-related cleanups of public spaces in Batavia.

First was an effort to pickup litter along the Ellicott Trail. Also, County Parks officials hosted an Earth Day event at DeWitt Recreation Area that included not just a cleanup but Scouts involved in projects and games and information booths about taking care of our planet.

March 9, 2021 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, news, City Fire, batavia.

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Firefighters with the City Fire Department are taking advantage of the ice still floating atop DeWitt Pond in Batavia for cold-water rescue training.

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November 10, 2020 - 12:15pm

Batavia City Councilperson-at-Large Robert Bialkowski and Interim City Manager Rachael Tabelski engaged in several minutes of Q & A on Monday night over the particulars of the city’s acceptance of a Batavia Rotary Club/Rotary Foundation grant. It would be used purchase kayaks and related equipment, which then would be “gifted” to Genesee County for use as a youth outdoor recreation activity.

Council, at its Business Meeting at the City Centre Council Board Room, was preparing to vote on the resolution to receive the $6,000 in what Tabelski termed “a pass-through” transaction since the Rotary Club wished to donate the funds directly to the City Youth Bureau.

When Paul Viele, who was running the meeting in place of City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr., asked for discussion, Bialkowski was ready with a series of questions.

Bialkowski said he was concerned by recent discussions with a couple of county legislators who said they knew nothing about owning anything, stating that “they will just store it for us.”

City Council learned about the resolution at its Oct. 26 Conference Meeting.

At that time, Jocelyn Sikorski, City and Genesee County Youth Bureau executive director, advised Council that the city would “gift” all equipment from the grant – kayaks, kayak launch, paddles and vests – to Genesee County, which will maintain and store it at the DeWitt Recreation Area on Cedar Street.

She also said that county workers will build a trailer for hauling the equipment back and forth.

The resolution stipulates that the city would accept the grant from Rotary for the period of Oct. 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021 “to provide assistance to expand outdoor recreation and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education.”

Fast forwarding to last night, following is the back-and-forth between Bialkowski and Tabelski -- with Viele interjecting his thoughts toward the end of the mini-debate:

Q. Who will be purchasing the kayaks?

A. It will be purchased through the city and then it will be gifted to the county, so we have no liability for the kayaks or the docking.

Q. Why are we giving the county money?

A. When Mrs. Sikorski was here at the last meeting, she discussed that because it is the city Rotary, they wanted to do the grant with the city. But after myself and the county manager looked at it, it will be housed in a county park.

Q. Why are we … transferring the actual funds to the county if we’re buying the kayaks?

A. We’re not transferring the funds, we’re transferring the material after purchase – the kayaks and the docking.

Q. Because the resolution implies we are transferring the funds.

A. No, it will be purchased through the city’s procurement policy. The city will gift the equipment from this grant to Genesee County Parks who will assist with the maintenance and the storage of program equipment once purchased, and they will be responsible for the insurance for that as well.

Q. Then who will own the kayaks?

A. Genesee County. We will not own them.

Q. There seems to be some gray areas here. Who will be instructing in the use of the kayaks?

A. I know the YMCA was a partner in it and when we have youth programming, again through whatever means we do, I think it would be incumbent upon that person to have an instructor there when they bring children out there.

Viele jumped in at that point, stating that “we’re going to buy the kayaks and gift them to the county, very simple.”

Bialkowski pressed on, however, saying that “the county doesn’t know anything about us donating kayaks, and they’ll probably be plastic throwaway kayaks … the inexpensive ones, and the longer they’re in the sun, the shorter the shelf life.”

To which Tabelski replied that Paul Osborn, county parks supervisor/forester, was building a shed and a place to store them.

Q. Who will be responsible to replace them?

A. The city would not be responsible moving forward. We’re basically acting as a pass-through … (for the kayaks) to be housed at the county park, along with the docking system that we discussed at the last meeting that has the handicap accessibility.

Bialkowski said he was surprised the county doesn’t know about this, and Tabelski reemphasized that the vote on the table was to accept the grant, purchase the equipment and give it to the county.

Viele said he was sure the county knows about it.

“They have to know about it, if we’re doing this. They have to know about it, if we’re voting on it,” he said. “Maybe the legislator hasn’t read his email to see what is going on.”

Bialkowski said he didn’t think a couple of legislators would do this, but Viele said since the city is not liable, “don’t worry about it.”

After Bialkowski signified his concern about the status of an instructional program for youth, Viele remarked, “It would be a good job for you. You could teach them.”

In the end, Council voted in favor of the resolution, with Bialkowski casting the lone "no" vote.

Legislature Chair Weighs In

The Batavian contacted County Legislature Chair Rochelle Stein today about this matter and although she wasn’t aware of the details, she indicated that it was likely to come up at the next Human Services meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 30.

“Basically, this is an opportunity that Rotary wanted to focus onto the city youth recreational program, and it has been working on for well over a year,” she said. “The fact that those kayaks could be donated to the DeWitt park area, it just enhances what we already have going on there and it gives opportunity for the city youth at the same time.”

Stein acknowledged the “fluid situation right now with youth services, (so) we are following our process and our procedure because we certainly want to be a good partner.”

“Everybody has a job to do and we all have steps to take to get to where we need to be,” she said.

When asked about instruction for the youth, she said the county has a kayak program that is run by the Interpretative Center staff.

October 13, 2020 - 10:33am
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.

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Brandon Payne caught another large pike at DeWitt Recreation Area yesterday.

Submitted photo.

September 27, 2020 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, outdoors, news.

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Justin Gugel shared this photo of himself and a 34-inch, 11-pound pike he caught yesterday at the DeWitt Recreation Area.

August 26, 2020 - 7:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in tai chi, DeWitt Recreation Area, batavia, video.
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Nancy Wee's Tai Chi class at DeWitt Recreation Area. The classes are at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday and Sunday. They are free and open to everybody. Masks and social distancing required.

August 14, 2020 - 2:46pm

From Shannon Lyaski, Conservation Education program coordinator, Genesee County Park & Forest:

A new experience awaits visitors at the Richmond Memorial Library and at DeWitt Recreation Area in Batavia!

The Richmond Memorial Library is excited to provide one Storywalk for the library grounds and two Storywalks for the DeWitt Recreation Area through the NIOGA Library System.

"Storywalks" are books that have been enlarged and placed onto lawn signs to be used outdoors. They encourage young readers to read for fun while getting active and enjoying a walk!

Storywalks also help children keep reading during the summer and provide a fun alternative to storytime readings at local libraries, which are difficult to conduct while social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Storywalks set up along the quarter-mile walking track at DeWitt Recreation Area currently feature “Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur” by Cirocco Dunlap and “A Chair for My Mother” by Vera B. Williams.

The Storywalk at the Richmond Memorial Library currently features “All Are Welcome” by Alexandra Penfold.

Each Storywalk sign at DeWitt Recreation Area has pages of one book mounted on one side, and pages of the other book mounted on the other side. Readers can walk clockwise around the walking track and read one story, then reverse direction and read the other story as they walk around counterclockwise.

These two titles will be on loan at DeWitt Recreation Area through the NIOGA Library System starting today, Aug.14th, through Monday, Sept. 6th.

After Labor Day weekend, the stories will change every two weeks and highlight seasonal events, happenings in nature, and more. An information box located on the title page sign for each story provides an author summary, a list of similar titles, and fun activities for kids.

We are excited about this opportunity for outdoor exercise and great reading for kids! Special thanks to the Richmond Memorial Library and the NIOGA Library System for making this new recreational experience possible.

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

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