Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Genesee County Park

June 26, 2022 - 1:36pm
posted by Press Release in environmental science camp, Genesee County Park, news.

Press release:

Spots are still open for Environmental Science Camp at the Genesee County Park & Forest! This hands-on outdoor camp is for students entering 7th – 10th grade. Camp meets Monday through Friday, July 18th – 22nd from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park & Forest. This week-long adventure includes survival skills, wildlife and stream studies, outdoor recreation, a field trip and more! Cost is $95/camper for the entire week. All materials and a camp T-shirt are provided. Transportation is provided from Batavia High School to and from camp each day.

To register, download the registration form (pdf).

Return completed forms with payment to:

Main Office
Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Nature Center 153 Cedar St.
Batavia, NY 14020

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 28, 2022 - 3:00pm

East Bethany, NY - One visit is all it takes to discover that Genesee County Park, Forest & Interpretive Center is one of Western New York’s outdoor treasures.

Featured content brought to you by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. Discover all that awaits your visit in our latest blog.

March 25, 2022 - 10:30am
posted by Press Release in Genesee County Park, news.

Press release:

York State’s First County Forest has an Environmental Education Assistant Internship position open for May – August of 2022. The position is administered through the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and is located at Genesee County Park & Forest in East Bethany, NY. Applicants must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED and a US citizen.

Environmental Education Assistants develop, organize, plan and lead environmental education programs to audiences of all ages in a wide variety of settings under the guidance of park staff. Environmental Education Assistants also coordinate the efforts of park volunteers.

  • Conducting programs for schools, summer rec groups, scouts and the general public
  • Providing customer service to park visitors and program participants
  • Planning volunteer and park events
  • Writing articles for the parks seasonal newsletter
  • Marketing of park events, programs and resources
  • Scheduling and coordinating volunteers to assist with park events and projects
  • Providing training and orientation to new park volunteers

SCA interns earn a stipend of $140/week while serving and are eligible for an education award of $1,678 that may be used for student loans, tuition, classes or future college costs.

This position requires 16 weeks of 40 hour/week of service from May until August of 2022.

Hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Flexibility is given in order to cover the prescheduled programs that are outside of the normal working hours within the 40-hour workweek.

Additional benefits:

  • First Aid/AED/CPR training provided
  • Experience and on-the-job training in Environmental Education and Volunteer Coordinating
  • Deeper knowledge of natural history and ecology
  • Job duties include volunteer outings (kayaking, hiking)
  • Networking with professionals in Environmental Science and Education

The application deadline is April 12, 2022

To apply: Apply online at western-ny-regional-candidate-only/po-00732618. For additional information contact Shannon Lyaski, Conservation Education Program Coordinator at [email protected]

October 27, 2021 - 7:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, Bethany, fall, news.


It was a rare sunny fall day so this afternoon, I took Nellie Bly (my dog) to Genesee County Park -- one of my favorite places in the county -- for a walk and some pictures.



August 8, 2020 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Interpretive Center, Genesee County Park, news, video, education, nature.
Video Sponsor

"Rudy" is an artiste. She has her own expressive way of coloring a canvas and today, area children got to help her make individual pieces of art for them to take home.

The art event was held outside the Interpretive Center at Genesee County Park & Forest.

The children also learned about 14-year-old Rudy and her fellow red-eared slider turtles, which hail from the Southern United States.




January 12, 2020 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dogs, Mutt Strut, Genesee County Park, animals, pets, news.


Joshua Finn says he always wanted a blond female running partner and he wound up with Charlotte, a young golden retriever full of energy.

They run together a lot, as much as six miles on a weekend run.

"If she sees me grab my headphones and leash, she goes nuts," Finn said.

On one of his runs, Finn, who also runs in 5Ks, said he thought, "wouldn't it be cool to run in a 5K with dogs."

He shared his idea with Adrienne Penders and she, well, ran with it.

Penders, owner of Matted Mutts and involved with rescues and Volunteers for Animals for more than 15 years, has spent dozens of hours and thousands of dollars of her own money to bring together the "Mutt Strut," a 5K walk in the Genesee County Park & Forest at 9 a.m. on Sunday, April 19. (She also was helped by her boyfriend Jonathan Wright, who helped promotional material, including building the promotional website).

To bring the event together, there was insurance to secure, waivers to sign, release forms, and other paperwork and numerous meetings involved in getting approval from county officials.

All in the name of creating a family-friendly, and dog-friendly event where people can enjoy a relaxing walk in one of Genesee County's most scenic areas.

Since it's the first-ever large-scale dog walk/run event in the park, park officials wanted to keep it manageable so it's limited to 100 participants.

"We want it to be a success not only for the dogs but for the park so we can keep doing it year after year after year," Penders said.

To help with the success, dog trainer Tori Ganino, owner of Calling All Dogs, will be on hand to help spot dogs that might be not be suitable for the event. The event is for dogs who are comfortable around other dogs and children.

"Obviously, everybody thinks their dog is wonderful but sometimes you get into a close encounter with 50 dogs and 100 kids running around dogs, some dogs might act a little differently, so she’s there basically to either explain to somebody how to control their dog or advise that the dog shouldn't attend the event because it’s not going to be safe," Penders said.

Dogs and their handlers can sign up at mattedmutts.com/muttstrut/. Registration is $30 per person or $80 for a family of four. All proceeds benefit Volunteers for Animals.

The canines get a doggie gift bag and there will be food for participants afterward.

Photo: Joshua Finn, Charlotte, Adrienne Penders, and Pablo.

If you like our community coverage and want more of it, become a patron. Click the supporter button below.

August 3, 2019 - 5:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Camp Hard Hat, Genesee County Park, Bethany, video.
Video Sponsor

A new pier into one of the ponds at Genesee County Park, suitable for relaxing and taking in nature and wildlife, was dedicated Friday by the leaders of Camp Hard Hat and the students participated along with their supporters and family members.

This is the sixth project completed in the park by Camp Hard Hat students over the past six summers.

December 2, 2018 - 4:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, news, Bethany.


Kaylee Brown, 5, with her father Chris Brown, shows off the reindeer she made at yesterday's Create-A-Critter session at the Genesee County Park Interpretive Center.

A couple of dozen children showed up over two sessions yesterday where the kids could create small little animals out of corncobs, pine cones, thistle pods, and other natural materials.

Below, Rhowen Torrey, 4, with Gregg Torrey.


May 26, 2018 - 2:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, paws park, dogs, pets, animals, news, Bethany.


Genesee County Park hosted its inaugural Park Paws dog walk event today and only three canines participated, though several more dog owners signed up who didn't show up.

While in the park, we also came across a group of riders on horseback (photos below).





October 1, 2017 - 6:03pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in Run for the Acorns, Genesee County Park, news, 5K, 10K, sports.


The Fifth Annual Run for the Acorns was this morning at Genesee County Park & Forest.

Here are the results:

Male overall winners:
1 -- Chad Minuto (Batavia) time: 41:11
2 -- Michael Emmons (LeRoy) time: 46:34

Age 30-39 winner: Stephen Konieczny
Age 40-49: James Caswell
50-59: John Cole
60-69: Daniel Miller

Female overall winners:
1 -- Lyndsey Macmillan (Rochester) time: 47:13
2 -- Jess Juliano (Hamburg) time: 50:16

Age 30-39 winner: Jaime Kelly
40-49: Heather Biondolillo
50-59: Karen Samis

Male overall winners:
1 -- EJ Boyce (Bergen) time: 19:15
2 -- Kevin Sheehan (Victor) time: 20:36

Age 14 and under: Cooper Konieczny
Age 15-19: Adam Hess
20-29: Thomas Demmer
30-39: Dave Bateman
40-49: Gabe Abdella
50-59: David Demmer
60-69: Frank Gioia

Female overall winners:
1 -- Kimberly Mills ( Basom) time: 22:06
2 -- Alison  Zybczynski (Alden) time: 24:24

Age 14 and under: Ainsley Kent
15-19: Megan Smith
20-29: Kerry Mills
30-39: Amanda Hoy
40-49: Sheila Hess
50-59: Mary Ann Arnold
60-69: Denise Macpherson

For more photos: http://steveognibenephotography.zenfolio.com/f354975482





5K race and walk start pictured above.




September 29, 2017 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Run for the Acorns, ACORNS, Genesee County Park, sports, 5K.


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.

August 3, 2017 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in construction, education, Genesee County Park, news.

Photos and story by Alecia Kaus/Video News Service.

Boardwalks and bridges in the Genesee County Park. If you visit the park during any season you have used one or both.

“There are people from all over the world that come to the this little park and say how neat, clean and nice this park is,” says Jared Radesi, Camp Hard Hat director and Building Trades teacher.

“Attribute some of that to the kids that get together every summer for one week here to build a new bridge and help keep the park alive.

The BEA(Business Education Alliance) has partnered with the Genesee Valley Educational  Partnership to offer Camp Hard Hat at the Genesee County Park.

“It’s an educational learning experience for the kids and everything is to code,” says Paul Osborn, Genesee County Parks supervisor.

This is the fourth year for the Camp Hard Hat Program and it has been growing. This year there are 20 kids involved, seventh- through ninth-graders, from area schools.

Osborn says this year there are two projects being worked on.

A 100-foot boardwalk with a 24-foot bridge and a 16-foot bridge near Area D on the Conservation trail.

For the last three years the program has been using recycled guard rail systems and trusses from the Batavia Downs roof system that was dismantled. The lumber was purchased through a grant.

“We want to show them that there are options out there other than a college education,” says Radesi.

“Apprenticeships are something this country was built on and they are a free way to get an education.”

Radesi said there is a skills gap right now and the whole industry is hurting for employees and leaders.

“There is high demand for skilled laborers and this group of kids can make a lot of money in the next 10 years.”

On Wednesday, the Hard Hat crew was working on the boardwalk.

Isabela Braun, of Le Roy, and Emma Osborn, of Oakfield, are both freshman and in their second year of being involved with the weeklong camp.

“I get new skills that I will be able to use for the rest of my life and I will be able to get a job without having to go to college and get all that debt,” says Braun.

“I feel proud cause you will see it there for a long time.”

Emma Osborn says having the experience from last year helps the new kids involved in the project this year.

“They know we know what we are doing and we can help build the mindset of others,” says Emma Osborn.

“It feels like you are bringing something else here that needs to be done.”

At the end of the project, a sign will be erected that lists all the kid’s names who were involved in the project along with the major sponsor’s names.

“They will be able to bring their parents, their grandparents, then as they get older, their kids to see their work.”

Park Supervisor Paul Osborn says he is not sure what next year’s project will be, but it may include some plumbing and electrical work and a mock wall.

“This is a great program for the park and it allows us to connect with the community and with the kids, a lot of these kids would never come out here,” says Paul Osborn.

To check out the camps offered for next year visit http://beagenesee.com/

September 9, 2016 - 11:39am
posted by Genesee County ... in Genesee County Park, Bethany, news, outdoors.

Genesee County Park & Forest is back at it with yet another awesome educational event.

Join the county park for Monarch Watching from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17th. Learn about the fascinating lives of Monarch Butterflies. Explore their world and find out what people are doing to help out!

$5/person, $10/family. Space is limited, pre-registration is required! Call 585-344-1122!

Five Fun Facts about Monarch Butterflies to prepare you for migrating season:

1. Monarch Butterflies migrate through our region in mid-September.

2. A monarch caterpillar can eat a whole milkweed leaf in under 4 minutes! Monarch caterpillars gain about 2,700 times their weight in two weeks.

3. Monarch butterflies smell with their antennae.

4. Monarch butterflies taste with their feet, using special receptors called tarsi.

5. Monarch butterflies ride updrafts of warm air to help complete their 3,000-mile migration at the end of each summer. Monarchs have been seen gliding at altitudes as high as 11,000 feet!

Visit www.VisitGeneseeNY.com to learn more...

August 9, 2016 - 12:12pm
posted by Genesee County ... in Genesee County Park, genesee, meteor shower.

Hear the stories behind summer’s celestial constellations and watch for fireballs in the sky far away from city lights. On Friday, Aug. 12th, Genesee County Park & Forest will host an amazing program called “Meteor Shower in the Meadow” from 9:30 to 11 p.m.

Cost of the event is $5 for individuals and $10 for a family. Pre-registration is requested by calling (585) 344-1122.

Attendees will learn about astronomy inside the park’s Interpretive Nature Center and then walk out to a forest meadow where they will watch nature’s fireworks. Feel free to bring a blanker or folding chair to enjoy the show.

The Perseid Meteor Shower is an annual event that occurs in late July and early August – with Aug. 11-12th being the height of the showers. There is speculation that the 2016 Perseids could be a peak year, with more than 200 meteors spotted an hour. The characteristics of a Perseid meteor are that it is fast and bright, often leaving a trail behind it.

“Meteor Shower in the Meadow” is a great example of the types of programming offered at Genesee County Park & Forest. The family-friendly events combine elements of education and experience – making it a fantastic opportunity for everyone. From snowshoe hikes in the winter to wading in ponds looking for signs of life in the summer, Genesee County Park & Forest is a wonderful place to explore and learn. For more information, visit the Park’s website and Facebook page.

October 11, 2015 - 4:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Run for the Acorns, 5K, sports, Bethany, Genesee County Park.


More than 200 runners and walkers were in County Park this morning for the annual Run for the ACORNS 5K and 10K races. Organizers were pleased with the Fall-perfect weather.












August 29, 2015 - 10:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park.


There was a birthday party at the Genesee County Park & Forest today. The park is now 100 years old.

The first series of pictures are of lumberjacks engaging in a competition to start a fire and generate enough heat to boil water. They are Mike Koers, originally from Alexander, John Dailey, Tim Benedict and Connor Slate. The group put on lumberjack competition demonstrations throughout the day.

The daylong event included guided hikes, information booths and crafts and games for children.











August 13, 2015 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, outdoors, sports, hunting.

Press release:

Genesee County Parks Deer Management Permit Applications will be accepted for the Archery Hunting Program at the Genesee County Park & Forest beginning Aug. 17 through Sept. 11.

The Deer Management Program Terms & Conditions packet (including permit) can be downloaded from the Genesee County Parks Web site at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/docs/GCPF_DeerMgmt_TermsCond_w_Permit_Final2... or picked up at the Park office located at 153 Cedar St., Batavia, between the hours of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday.

The permit is a non-refundable $25 fee (check or money order due with permit application). Check or money order must be written out to the GENESEE COUNTY TREASURER and must accompany the permit when submitted. A copy of your NYS DEC License is required to be submitted with the permit application also. Applications will not be accepted after Sept. 11.

A lottery drawing will be held on Sept. 15 where permits and vehicle tags will be administered at a mandatory information meeting held on Oct. 3. The Deer Management Program is a four-week program that runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 15. Genesee County residents, including youth, and disabled veterans will be given priority over nonresident applications.

A Genesee County Parks Deer Management issued permit is required to legally archery or crossbow hunt at the Genesee County Park & Forest. Hunters must possess a valid NYS DEC big game license and respective deer tags before applying for a Genesee County Parks Deer Archery Hunting Permit. Crossbow hunters must ALSO possess a valid muzzleloader hunting privilege as defined by the NYS DEC along with respective deer tags.

The Genesee County Parks Deer Management Permit is specific to the hunter, and may not be used by or assigned to any other individual. Genesee County reserves the right to revoke this permit at any time.

For more information, please visit the Genesee County Parks Web site at http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/forestmanagement.html or contact Paul Osborn via e-mail at [email protected] or call (585) 344-8508.

August 1, 2015 - 8:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Park, Boy Scouts, Troop 6, Eagle Scout.


Tyler Gaus was joined by other members of Batavia's Boy Scout Troop 6 today in the parking lot of Batavia's Original for a car wash to raise funds for his Eagle Scout project. Gaus plans on revitalizing the volleyball courts at Genesee Valley Park, which he said needs weeds eliminated and the boundaries need to be better defined.

April 23, 2015 - 3:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in arts, GCC, photography, Bethany, Genesee County Park.

Combining environmental awareness with a photography assignment, Genesee Community College instructor Joe Ziolkowski asked his students to create sustainable still life photographs. From plastic cups to light bulbs, images about carpooling and recycling shoes, students responded in interesting and thought-provoking ways.

The community is invited to view the works as the exhibit, Sustainable Still Life, moves to the Genesee County Park and Forest. An opening reception is planned May 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center, 11095 Bethany Center Road, East Bethany.

Since he came to GCC, Ziolkowski has developed an excellent relationship with the staff at the Genesee County Park and Forest. This is the third exhibit of GCC student work that will be shown at the Park's Interpretive Nature Center. Previous displays have included "Around the Bend: The Shared Landscape" and "Environmental Portraits of Western New York."

"The exhibits have been very well received by the community and are an excellent opportunity for our students to show their work beyond the campus," Ziolkowski said. "This particular show is especially fitting for the Park setting as we think about preserving the Earth and reducing our carbon footprint."

The works have been on view in the Lobby Art Gallery of GCC's Stuart Steiner Theatre and were a part of the College's annual ECO-Fest celebrating Earth Day. The pieces represent work by students in Ziolkowski's COM 118 (Introduction to Digital Photography) and COM 103 (Introduction to Black & White Photography) classes.

They will be on view in the Gallery at GCC through April 29. Ziolkowski will install them at the Interpretive Nature Center on Saturday, May 2. They will remain there through the summer. The exhibit will close on Friday, Sept. 11.

"We're excited to once again show student work at the Nature Center," Parks Supervisor Paul Osborn said. "We hope many people will join us for the Opening Reception on May 8th. It's a great way to celebrate a long-awaited Spring!"

Megan Ange / "Saving Water"
On a day-to-day basis, we use water for many things. We use water to wash our hands after using the bathroom, to wash dishes, brush our teeth and take a shower. We all forget to turn the water off from time to time when we are not using it, myself included. There could be a faucet leaking, and if that is the case then maybe you should check to see if you turned the knob of the faucet all the way so it is turned off instead of wasting the water. Everyone takes water for granted, but if you do the little things to save it, then you will be less likely to have a high water bill and not have to worry about problems that might happen if you leave it on. "Water is the driving force of all nature." - Leonardo da Vinci

Ellen Fridman / "Pin It"
REDUCE. Line-drying is back! Dryers are not going to go away any time soon but it seems like more people are returning to the use of the sun and wind to dry their clothing and linens. There are several benefits to clothesline drying. Hanging laundry out to dry instead of turning on the dryer lowers carbon emissions, reduces gas or electric bills, helps clothing and linens last longer, and establishes an excuse to get outside. Experts say that if all Americans line-dried for half a year, 3.3 percent of the country's total residential output of carbon dioxide would be saved. For those in colder climates, try using drying racks inside. Go Green!

Miguel Ortiz-Teed / "The Legend of Books"
As time progresses -- technology advances. This progression has lead from hand-held books where you can flip a page with your hands to tablets where you swipe to turn the page and have a massive library in the palm of your hands. This causes bookbinders to lose their jobs and technology takes their place. Eventually books will revert into a legend where only the wealthy will be able to afford them. This also produces a risk for all the knowledge that is stored within technology to be lost if an Electrical Magnetic Pulse were to hit either by a solar flare or warfare.

Paul Thater / "Light at the End of the Tunnel"
The photo was based off of the joke: "The government had to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel due to budget cuts." The light bulb has a black background to symbolize darkness in a tunnel with the light bulb off. This photo shows saving money by not using and saving electricity, which makes your bill smaller and gives you more money to spend on necessities.

April 16, 2015 - 12:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in hunting, outdoors, Genesee County Park.

A proposal to allow limited deer hunting this fall in the Genesee County Park won't get the unanimous support of county legislators.

Legislator Mike Davis said during the Ways and Means Committee meeting that he can't support the proposed local law change that will make the hunt possible.

He said he was concerned about the safety of other park users during hunting season.

"If the park were completely closed to all but hunting, then I'm in, but without that I just can't support it," Davis said.

The committee the voted with the one dissenting vote to recommend passage of the local law to the full Legislature.

Davis was recently appointed to the Legislature and represents the Darien and Pembroke areas of the county.

Under terms of the proposal, bow hunting will be confined to 12 zones along the southern border of the park. While the hiking trails will be open, hunters are being told to stay clear of trails and be courteous of others using the park.

Hunters will be selected through a lottery Sept. 15, following a Sept. 11 deadline for applications, which open Aug. 17.

Two zones will be set aside for youth and disabled veterans, and young hunters and disabled veterans will be given priority over hunters from outside Genesee County.

In all, 48 hunters will be selected to receive permits for the four-week season, which runs from Oct. 19 through Nov. 15.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break