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east pembroke

June 22, 2019 - 7:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in video, east pembroke, batavia, rescue, Tonawanda Creek.
Video Sponsor

Two people were rescued today in the Tonawanda Creek after their canoe overturned and became jammed against a log, which they managed to grab onto until help arrived.

East Pembroke Fire, Town of Batavia Fire, and Gary Patnode, head of the county's rope rescue team, responded.

Volunteer firefighters were able to get ropes to John R. Young, 24, of Basom, and Kaleigh Kasteli, 20, of Beaver Falls, Pa., along with life vests -- which they put over their own life vests -- and pull them safely to shore.

Both Young and Kasteli were examined by medics with Mercy EMS and released from care at the scene.

State Police also assisted at the scene.

(Initial Post

June 21, 2019 - 2:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones, Le Roy, elba, east pembroke, east bethany.

AMHERST -- Daemen College Dean Michael Brogan, Ph.D., announces the following Genesee County students achieved dean’s list status for the Spring 2019 semester. A matriculated undergraduate student who attains a grade-point average of 3.30 or better in any one semester is eligible for dean’s list status.
 
* Patrick Wrobel of Batavia (14020)

* Jeffrey Redband of Batavia (14020)

* Kristyn Mott of Batavia (14020)

* Stephanie Hoy of Batavia (14020)

* Briana Janes of Batavia (14020)

* Katie Underhill of Batavia (14020)

* Christine James of Batavia (14020)

* Jordyn Atkinson of East Bethany (14054)

* Mikaila Mault of East Pembroke (14056)

* Emily Kreutter of Elba (14058)

* Emily Graham of Le Roy (14482)

* Brianna Hill of Le Roy (14482)

June 3, 2019 - 11:27am
posted by Billie Owens in news, accidents, east pembroke.

A two-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at 3646 W. Main Street Road by Pudgie's Lawn & Garden in Batavia. Two patients need extricating.

East Pembroke Fire Department is on scene along with Mercy medics and law enforcement.

Town of Batavia Fire Department is called as mutual aid to provide extrication equipment. Mercy Flight was called then canceled, then called again. A landing zone will be set up at County Building #2.

UPDATE 11:32 a.m.: Mercy Flight is en route to the landing zone at County Building #2. Two flatbed tow trucks are called to the accident scene.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: A deputy is responding to West Main Street Road for traffic control.

UPDATE 1:16 p.m. by Alecia Kaus : The Genesee County Sheriff's Department is investigating a two-vehicle accident that occurred at 3446 W. Main Street Road before noon today. Sheriff's deputies say a Ford Focus headed east on Route 5 crossed over into the oncoming lane and struck an SUV that was headed west. The male driver of the Ford Focus was transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. He was conscious and alert. The female driver of the SUV was transported to Strong Hospital in Rochester via ground ambulance with unknown injuries. Deputies say charges are pending against the driver of the Ford Focus.

Photos by Alecia Kaus.

May 24, 2019 - 12:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, accidents, east pembroke.

 

Video Sponsor

 

A head-on collision between a pickup truck and car is reported at 2447 W. Main Street Road, East Pembroke. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Mercy Flight is called to the scene. The location is near Ron and Newt's auto repair business.

UPDATE 12:50 p.m.: One person was transported by Mercy Flight to ECMC; the patient was conscious and alert.

UPDATE 1:13 p.m.: A white sedan was eastbound on West Main Street Road when the driver crossed the center line of the roadway and struck a westbound work truck head on. The driver of the sedan was airlifted to ECMC; the driver of the work truck was taken by ground ambulance to UMMC.

May 6, 2019 - 1:16pm

Four churches in the Corfu/Pembroke area are combining efforts to make people aware of hunger in their own hometown.

On Saturday, May 11, the Corfu United Presbyterian Church, Indian Falls United Methodist Church and St. Maximilian Kolbe Church Corfu and East Pembroke are sponsoring a Walk Hunger Away 5K.

Deborah Russ, of Corfu, a member of the Corfu United Presbyterian Church, is the event organizer, with help from volunteers in the other churches.

She explained there used to be a Crop Walk in Genesee County, which is an international effort to fight hunger.

“But there is such a need in our own area,” Russ said.

Proceeds from Saturday’s 5K will be divided among three food programs in Corfu, Pembroke and Falls.

The Corfu United Presbyterian Church maintains a food pantry, which is open at 9 a.m. the third Saturday and at 5:30 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month.

The Pembroke Bagged Meal Program provides weekend meals to more than 65 children in the Pembroke Central School District.

“We started out with middle school and have expanded to include high school kids,” Russ said. “Now we are hoping to include the primary school.”

St. Maximillian Kolbe Church supports the Food Pantry with a monetary donation every month, Russ said. She said a lot of senior citizens benefit from the Food Pantry.

The third program to be helped by Saturday’s walk is the Rise Against Hunger, for which Indian Falls United Methodist Church packs thousands of meals for people in developing nations.

Russ said it is their hope participants in the Hunger Walk will get sponsors, but it isn’t a requirement.

“We just want people to come and learn about hunger,” she said. “They can walk with no money or they can make a $5 donation.”

There are no expenses incurred so every penny made will be distributed to the three programs.

Also on Saturday, the Corfu Girl Scout Troop 42035 will sponsor a food drive at the Corfu United Presbyterian Church.

Donations of nonperishable items or single-serve items for the Pembroke Bagged Meal Program are suggested. Examples of requested single-serve items are mini cereal bars, fruit cups, granola bars, noodle/pasta cups and juice boxes.

For information, contact Valerie Mutka at (585) 813-4075.

Registration for the Hunger Away 5K is at 9:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. The route starts at Corfu United Presbyterian Church and returns there. It is located at 63 Alleghany Road.

The walk is unique in that six stops are planned along the route, where walkers can stop and learn important facts about the three programs the 5K supports.

April 21, 2019 - 2:03pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, east pembroke, news.

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A head-on collision with injuries is reported at 2102 Main Road in East Pembroke. Pembroke and Indian Falls fire department are responding along with Mercy medics.

UPDATE 2:20 p.m.: Darien is called to provide the fourth ambulance into the scene. The location is between Indians Falls Road and Cleveland Road.

UPDATE 3:22 p.m. (by Howard): This was not a head-on collision. One car rear-ended another. "It sounded serious at first but it appears to be minor in nature," said East Pembroke Fire Chief Don Newton. There were six patients, all with minor injuries. Two were taken to ECMC and four to UMMC. A couple of the patients were teenagers, the rest were adults. East Pembroke Fire responded. Corfu assisted with traffic control. Three Mercy EMS advanced life support ambulances responded and Darien's basic life support ambulance also responded. Law enforcement would not release further information at the scene. A deputy said there will be more information in a press release at a later time.

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March 21, 2019 - 6:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in accidents, east pembroke, news.

A car. vs. tractor-trailer accident with minor injuries in reported on the eastbound Thruway at mile marker 397. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics are responding.

March 15, 2019 - 3:48pm
Press release:
 
A Rubik's Cube Competition, sponsored by Upstate Cubing and the World Cube Association, will be happening on Saturday, April 13, in the St. Maximillian Kolbe Catholic Church Hall, located at 8556 Church St. in East Pembroke.
 
This is the only local competition this year.
 
If you are interested, sign up early because this event will sell out. The competition is limited to 100 participants.
 
Cost is $15 and that includes pizza and drink for lunch.
 
Spectators can attend for free.
 
Online registration for competitors is open but closes at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
 
On the day of the event, registration begins at 8 a.m. and the first tournament -- 2" by 2" cube -- starts at 9. The top 12 advance to the next round. The competition continues until awards are presented at 5:45 p.m.
 
For full details, please click here (then click the "schedule" tab at the top of the page to find specific information about the East Pembroke event).
 
Editor's note -- To get some help, avail yourself of this You Tube instruction video for beginners with more than 17 million views:
 
At the other end of the spectrum is Rubik's Cube artist Giovanni Contardi:
February 23, 2019 - 2:18pm

Genesee County Health Department Public Health Column

Are you actively taking the necessary steps to live healthy? If not, now is a great time to start if you want to make a difference in the quality and quantity of your life. Take a few moments to learn why your family should register for the FREE Get Fit! Program by March 1.

The Healthy Children and Families Coalition is offering this eight-week family-based program that makes exercising and eating right fun and realistic.

Families who register will also receive a YMCA pass to use the facility in Batavia for free throughout the duration of the program! There are also chances to win prizes throughout the program that further encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

Enroll your family today by visiting www.GetFitWNY.org or calling 585-344-5420!

Classes will be held on Thursdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m. from March 7th -- May 9th at the Pembroke Primary School, 2486 Main Road in East Pembroke, and also at Pembroke Intermediate School, 58 Alleghany Road, Corfu (for two classes only -- March 21 & 28).

There will be no class on April 18th and April 25th. Hurry, limited spots available.

Throughout the program, families will bond together through exercising, sampling healthy food choices, discovering simple and great tasting recipes, as well as learning how to eat right on a budget. Exercising is made fun with different activities each week including yoga, taekwondo, and parachute games.

The Get Fit! Program aims to battle the obesity epidemic locally. Sixty-six percent of adults and 37 percent youth in Genesee County are either overweight or obese.

But the weight problem is nationwide. And being overweight or obese contributes to your risk of developing heart disease. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause death in the United States. Excess weight, even 10-20 pounds, increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, certain types of cancer and other medical ailments.

According to the Surgeon General, overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80 percent if one or more parent is overweight or obese. For the first time in history, it is possible for children to have a shorter life span than their parents.

The increased cost of nutritious foods, larger portion sizes, increased consumption of processed foods (typically having higher salt concentrations), and decreased physical activity are the fuel in this out of control “fire.”

The Get Fit! Program is made possible by the Genesee County Health Department, the Genesee County YMCA, Rochester Regional Health at United Memorial Medical Center, the City of Batavia Youth Bureau, Oakfield Family Medical Care, Insight Grants Development, Alexander Central School District, Pembroke Central School District, and the Rotary Club of Batavia.

February 12, 2019 - 2:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, news, business.
Press release and submitted photo:

On Feb. 7, the Crosby’s location at 2594 Main Road in East Pembroke held its grand reopening for the public.

This renovated location provides customers with expanded food offerings with the addition of a new Sub Shoppe, offering fresh and delicious made-to-order subs available alongside pizzas, calzones and breakfast sandwiches.

The store also features a new f’real milkshake and smoothie machine and fresh-baked cookies are available daily. 

Crosby’s is also contributing to the community as part of the grand reopening festivities in East Pembroke and will offer a $500 donation to the Pembroke School District. 

The store in East Pembroke offers Mobil gas, and is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Growing to Better Serve Customers

Along with updated store locations in Kendall and Barker, East Pembroke is part of Crosby’s ongoing efforts to improve new and existing stores to provide a more comprehensive range of options and services for customers. 

“By renovating and updating these stores, we can provide more fresh options and expanded offerings to our neighbors and customers,” said Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores.

“Crosby’s thrives in each of our communities by putting a focus on making customers our priority and being actively involved in the community beyond simply offering products and services.”

In addition to the new food, beverage and fuel services offered at these renovated Crosby’s locations, every store will also feature competitively priced grocery items, tobacco products and other amenities including an ATM, Crosby’s gift cards, fuel gift cards, money orders, propane exchange and a variety of New York State Lottery games. See each individual store location for further details.

About Crosby's

Crosby’s, a division of the Reid Group, is headquartered in Lockport. The company operates 84 Crosby’s convenience stores throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

About the Reid Group

The Reid Group, founded in 1922, is a full-service independent motor fuel marketer providing a comprehensive range of products and services for retail motor fuel outlets and convenience stores. The Lockport-based company serves retail and commercial customers.

Photo of East Pembroke grand reopening, from left: Doug Galli, vice president, Reid Stores; Sean Tooley, district leader, Reid Stores; Assemblyman Steve Hawley; Lynn Bianchi, team leader, Reid Stores; John Worth, Pembroke town supervisor; Gordon Dibble, Genesee County legislator; Michael Hicks, constituent service liaison from Rep. Chris Collins’ office; Tom Schneider, Town of Pembroke Planning Board chairman; and David George, director of operations, Reid Stores.
January 30, 2019 - 5:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Oakfield, elba, Le Roy, east bethany, east pembroke, batavia.

AMHERST -- Daemen College Dean Michael Brogan, P'h.D., announces the following Genesee County students achieved dean's list status at Daemen College for the Fall 2018 semester.

A matriculated undergraduate student who attains a grade-point average of 3.30 or better in any one semester is eligible for the dean's list.

* Briana Janes, of Batavia 

* Stephanie Hoy, of Batavia

* Jeffrey Redband, of Batavia 

* Patrick Wrobel, of Batavia 

* Katie Underhill, of Batavia 

* Jordyn Atkinson, of East Bethany 

* Mikaila Mault, of East Pembroke         

* Emily Kreutter, of Elba

* Emily Graham, of Le Roy 

* Brianna Hill, of Le Roy

* Collin Scheiber, of Oakfield

* Elizabeth Goff, of Oakfield

January 22, 2019 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, news, business, Crosby's.

Press release:

At 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, the Crosby’s location at 2594 Main Road in East Pembroke will reopen to the public.

Crosby’s will also provide the first 100 customers to arrive following the ribbon cutting with a free $5 gift card which they can apply toward any purchase inside the store, including the great new products and services added during the upgrade.

This renovated location will provide customers expanded food offerings with the addition of a new Sub Shoppe, offering fresh and delicious made-to-order subs available alongside pizzas, calzones and breakfast sandwiches. The store will also feature a new f’real milkshake and smoothie machine and fresh-baked cookies will be available daily. 

Crosby’s is also contributing to the community as part of the grand reopening festivities in East Pembroke and will offer a $500 donation to the Pembroke School District. 

The store in East Pembroke will offer Mobil gas, and will be open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Growing to Better Serve Customers

The latest updated store locations, which also includes stores in Kendall and Barker, are part of Crosby’s ongoing efforts to improve new and existing stores to provide a more comprehensive range of options and services for customers.

Visits from elected officials in local and state offices are also expected at each store to help Crosby’s celebrate the grand reopening of these renovated locations and the company’s donations to local school districts to help students succeed. 

“By renovating and updating these stores, we can provide more fresh options and expanded offerings to our neighbors and customers,” said Doug Galli, vice president and general manager of Reid Stores. “Crosby’s thrives in each of our communities by putting a focus on making customers our priority and being actively involved in the community beyond simply offering products and services.”

In addition to the new food, beverage and fuel services offered at these renovated Crosby’s locations, every store will also feature competitively priced grocery items, tobacco products and other amenities including an ATM, Crosby’s gift cards, fuel gift cards, money orders, propane exchange and a variety of New York State Lottery games. See each individual store location for further details.

— — —

Crosby’s, a division of the Reid Group, is headquartered in Lockport. The company operates 84 Crosby’s convenience stores throughout Northwestern Pennsylvania and Upstate New York.

The Reid Group, founded in 1922, is a full-service independent motor fuel marketer providing a comprehensive range of products and services for retail motor fuel outlets and convenience stores. The Lockport-based company serves retail and commercial customers. 

For more information, visit www.CrosbysStores.com

January 15, 2019 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in East Pembroke Fire, news, pembroke, batavia, east pembroke.

epfddinner2019.jpg

The East Pembroke Fire Department held its annual installation and awards banquet at Batavia Downs on Saturday night and Kenny Marble was named Firefighter of the Year.

Top photo: Don Newton Sr., president; Chuck Chatley, assistant chief; Steve Smelski, assistant chief; Kenny Marble, vice president; Paul Fenton, owner of Fenton's Produce, commissioner, and Service Person of the Year after serving on the board for 27 years; Don Newton, Jr., chief; Bill Lawrence, commissioner; Tom Dix, commissioner; and Rick Groff, incoming commissioner, replacing Fenton.

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Paul Fenton, Service Person of the Year.

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Kenny Marble, Firefighter of the Year.

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Officers taking the oath of office.

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The fire department members and district commissioners.

January 3, 2019 - 2:49pm

Public Notice

This is the East Pembroke Fire District -- Fire Commissioner Board Meeting Schedule for 2019; all meetings will take place at the fire hall, located at 8655 Barrett Drive in East Pembroke, at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on the following dates:                                                                                                            

  • Jan. 8                                              
  • Feb. 12                        
  • March 12
  • April  9
  • May 14
  • June 11
  • July 9
  • Aug. 13
  • Sept. 10
  • Oct. 08
  • Nov. 12
  • Dec. 11
  • Dec. 26                             

William R. Joyce, Secretary

East Pembroke Fire District

December 27, 2018 - 2:47pm

ROCHESTER -- Nazareth College students named to the Fall 2018 dean's list are as follows:

  • Kimberly Davis, of Pavilion
  • Danielle Foeller, of Bergen 
  • Bailey Groth, of East Pembroke 
  • Chelsea Jensen, of Batavia
  • Jessica Meyers, of East Bethany 
  • Lauren Reding, of Oakfield 

Nazareth College's academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts.

The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester challenges and supports 2,000 undergrads and 800 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life's work.

November 17, 2018 - 10:15am

Trains and landmarks throughout the country are among the subjects photographed by Tim Dusen, of East Pembroke. His exhibit, "Cornucopia of Photography," is on display through Nov. 30 at Richmond Memorial Library.

A lake ferry. A cow. A rusted automobile.

Everything catches Tim Dusen’s eye, although his favorite subjects are trains and lighthouses.

Dusen’s work of more than 100 photographs, titled "Cornucopia of Photography," is on exhibit at Richmond Memorial Library through Nov. 30.

Dusen, a native of East Pembroke, has been smitten with photography since 1976, when he was 9 and his parents took him to Disney World. He had been given his first camera, a Brownie 127, with which he captured his first images – that of the monorail and train.

In 1977, his family went on a three-week trip out West and he took so many pictures his father told him to stop.

“You had to put your film in a mailer back then and send it away to be developed,” Dusen said. “Dad said we wouldn’t be able to afford to have them developed.”

Both his parents and grandparents loved to travel, and Dusen inherited their love.

“Grandpa always said if there was a jingle in your pocket, you had gas money,” Dusen said.

Pembroke was one of the few schools with a darkroom at the time, and Dusen jumped into photography courses there. After he graduated in 1986, he went to Genesee Community College, where he majored in Commercial Art and History.

He was at a Batavia baseball game when Harold Kiltau, who sat down beside him, asked him if he knew there was a Photography Club in Batavia.

He hadn’t known, but in 1992, he joined. There he learned about filters and polarizing, and used his new knowledge in his photography.

Batavia Photography Club attended conventions of the Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs, and there Dusen learned a lot more about taking pictures, he said.

One of Dusen’s favorite works is a window light photograph of a cup and bowl said to have been used by Wild Bill Cody. Dusen took the picture at Cody’s hunting cabin in North Platte, Neb. The photo won him “Best Color Digital and Image of the Year” by the Batavia Photography Club.

Dusen said his photography is mostly for pleasure, although he has sold a few pieces. All the photos in his exhibit are priced reasonably, he said.

It’s safe to say, Dusen never leaves home without his camera.

Anyone interested in any of his work may e-mail him at [email protected]

Photos by Virginia Kropf.

Below, Dusen with one of his favorite works -- a window light photograph of a cup and bowl said to have been used by Wild Bill Cody.

Below, Dusen tweaks a photograph of the historic Portageville bridge taken from Letchworth State Park.

October 8, 2018 - 12:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, batavia, news, accidents.

tankeraccidentwortendyke2018.jpg

Two cars and a fuel truck collided at Pearl Street Road and Wortendyke Road. The fuel truck is leaking. East Pembroke Fire Department and Mercy medics #1 and #2 are responding.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Injuries are reported. The tanker rolled over. Town of Batavia Fire Police are called to shut down Route 33 east of Wortendyke; Corfu Fire Police are to close 33 west of Wortendyke.

UPDATE 12:44 p.m.: The county's Hazmat Team is called to stand by at county facilities.

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: Alexander Fire Department is asked to shut down northbound Wortendyke Road at Rose Road.

UPDATE 1:15 p.m.: Preliminary indications are that a gray vehicle and a white van were involved in an accident on Pearl Street Road west of Wortendyke and the driver of a semi-truck hauling gasoline tried to avoid the accident by swerving. The tanker overturned. It is leaking its own fuel, but not the cargo of gasoline. One person was transported to UMMC with non-life-threatening injuries; two others were sign-offs.

September 22, 2018 - 4:41pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in east pembroke, news, notify.

eastpemchurch2018.jpg

For decades, the former Presbyterian church in East Pembroke has looked weathered and beaten and neglected but owner Wes Winters had decided it's time to restore the exterior.

So far he's removed the old siding, painted the trim and the bell tower and installed some windows. This week he will start installing new clapboards (wood, not vinyl). 

He described the project as "weatherizing."

"It was pretty sad," Winters said. "We needed a new roof on the tower and the clapboards had long since seen their paint go away. It was just time."

His father bought the building in the 1970s and converted the basement into two apartments and divided the sanctuary into two floors as storage for his construction business.  

His son David is assisting with the restoration project.

The sanctuary was built in about 1854 and the bell tower was added in 1857.

The original bell -- cast in the 1870s in Troy -- still hands in the tower. The last time it was rung was just a few weeks ago. A friend of his son's got married nearby in East Pembroke. At the start of the service, Winters' son texted him and he rang the bell five times and then when the couple was pronounced husband and wife, he rang it again five times.

The stained glass was apparently removed when the congregation left the church.

Winters doesn't have immediate plans for the sanctuary but said it might be appropriate for apartments or retail.

"We're not going to sell it," he said, adding that the building will stay in the family.

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This is a commemorative plate found in the church building. The inscription on the back says the church was built for $3,200. Rev. D.C. Houghton was the first pastor. A tornado Sept. 30, 1921, tore off the spire and it was replaced by a dome. The Baptists and Presbyterians of East Pembroke merged in 1962 and formed the East Pembroke Federated Church. Photo submitted by David Winters.

September 20, 2018 - 1:02pm

Public Notice

Board of Fire Commissioners - East Pembroke Fire District: Resolution to Sell Equipment Subject to Permissive Referendum

Whereas, the Board of Fire Commissioners of the East Pembroke Fire District has determined that the 1991 Pierce Fire Truck is deemed surplus

Whereas, the vehicle is valued at $5,000; and

Now therefore be it resolved, the Board of Fire Commissioners has determined that the 1991 Pierce Fire Truck is deemed surplus and it shall be sold to the highest bidder.

This resolution is subject to permissive referendum of the qualified voters of the East Pembroke Fire District. The resolution shall take effect 30 days from the publication hereof unless a petition requiring a referendum is filed within said 30-day period, pursuant to section 6(g)(7) of the General Municipal Law.

 

William R. Joyce, Secretary

East Pembroke Fire District

August 22, 2018 - 3:48pm

Summer isn’t over yet, and what better way to enjoy those final weeks of warmth than getting outside and soaking up the sun? We’ve rounded up some great places in Genesee County to enjoy the outdoors, get on the water, and take in everything summer has to offer.

Explore Nature, Wildlife, and the Outdoors

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge

Described as “one of the best kept secrets in Western New York," the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is the largest in the state. With more than 10,000 acres, there’s plenty here to explore. This Wildlife Refuge is home to more than 42 species of mammals, plus reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects. It’s a favorite of birdwatchers thanks to its 6,000 acres of swampland. Created at the end of the last Ice Age, the swamp is all that remains of the prehistoric Lake Tonawanda that once stretched from Niagara Falls to Rochester. It supports in excess of 266 species of bird, including bald eagles. 

What to do: Avid birdwatchers can find their favorite species using the eBird Trail Tracker. Find what birds have been sighted on the refuge in the last 30 days, and where the best places to see them are. Non-birders and outdoor explorers can enjoy the outdoors year-round with activities like hunting, fishing, canoeing and cross-country skiing. The refuge also hosts a variety of educational activities, including owl prowls, bird walks, fishing derbies, stargazing and more. While there, don’t forget to browse the gift shop area and stop into the Visitors Center, open year-round from Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Bergen Swamp

While visiting a swamp may sound odd at first, one visit to the Bergen Swamp and you’ll be hooked! Home to 2,000 acres of wetlands, the swamp is a National Natural Landmark and the country’s first private environmental land trust chartered as a New York State Living Museum. Best known for its flowers, the swamp is home to 36 native orchids that flourish in the wet conditions. It’s also the perfect habitat for ferns, cedars and riparian floodplains.

What to do: Visitors to the swamp can explore on their own or take one of the many guided tours offered by the Bergen Swamp Preservation Society. Bring the camera and the sketchbook -- you never know what may inspire you along the trail.

Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center

Welcome to oldest county forest in New York State! Explore 430 acres of rolling hills, hiking trails, playgrounds, ball fields, a sledding hill and more. Ten miles of trails and five ponds put you up close and personal with nature and our woodland friends. The park in East Bethany is also home to the Interpretive Nature Center, where guests can play their way through the activity room, display rooms and Discovery Zone. The rear porch is known for being a prime place for wildlife spotting.

What to do: What can’t you do here? Visitors love playing on the playground, exploring the trails, sledding, and everything in between. The Park and Interpretive Center also host education seminars and events throughout the year, including owl prowls, crafts, introduction to orienteering and stargazing.

DeWitt Recreation Area

Four seasons of fun! Enjoy 64 acres of outdoors, where the kids can run off all their energy and the adults can join in on the fun. Prior to 1935, DeWitt Recreation Area was used as a sand and gravel quarry, which was later abandoned and adopted as a recreation area for residents. In 1992, the land was donated to Genesee County, and restored to its natural setting. It now operates as an outdoor home for family fun and recreation, year-round.

What to do: Walk the quarter-mile paved trail loop or explore marked dirt trails. Enjoy hiking and biking, as well as canoeing and fishing on the pond during the spring, summer and fall. In the winter, bundle up and try cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing on the trails, or ice skating and pickup hockey games. DeWitt Recreation Area also hosts special events, so keep an eye on the calendar for the next one. 

Play in the Water and Soak up the Sun

Angry Apple Disc Golf Course

Established in 2017, play your way through this 18-hole course as it weaves its way across an old apple orchard. Designed for both finesse and accuracy, you’ll need to get your throwing arm warmed up and ready to go if you want to win.

Oatka Paddle Company

Grab your friends and head for the water! The newly opened (as of July 2018) Oatka Paddle Company offers paddle boat rentals for up to five people per boat, as well as single kayak rentals. Head down to the creek to enjoy an afternoon on the water.

Kayak and Canoe

Genesee County has several great kayak and canoe launch sites, including Harlow Lake at Darien Lake State Park, Oak Orchard River at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, John T. O'Brien Canoe Launch at Kiwanis Park, East Pembroke Genesee County Boat Launch, and the Red Bridge Area in Le Roy – just to name a few.

Explore more opportunities to get in touch with nature on the Genesee County Website, outdoor section, at www.visitgeneseeny.com.

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