parks https://www.thebatavian.com/ en https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png parks https://www.thebatavian.com/ Local Matters © 2008-2023 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Sat, 20 Jul 2024 03:37:04 -0400 https://www.thebatavian.com/themes/barrio_batavian/images/thebatavian_logo.png Sun, 01 Oct 2023 08:00:00 -0400 Remembrance of summers past: Fun in parks, lawn fetes, parades https://www.thebatavian.com/anne-marie-starowitz/remembrance-of-summers-past-fun-in-parks-lawn-fetes-parades/636678
anne marie lawn fetes
lawn fete

Summer highlights of the 60s included going to the neighborhood park, swimming in the afternoon at the New Pool, and attending the four lawn fetes scheduled throughout the summer. 

The summer recreation program was divided into eight parks. Every neighborhood had a park, and the names of the parks all have a little local history.

Austin Park was named after George Austin, a jeweler who died in 1914 and left some of his money to be used to develop a public park. 

Mrs. George Farrall gifted Farrall Park's land. The land was originally a pasture. 

Kibbe Park is named after Chauncey Kibbe.   In 1934, with the help of federal funds and purchasing land from Chauncey Kibbe, Kibbe Park was born. 

John Kennedy Playground was formerly known as Cary's Woods. It was located on Vine Street. In 1954, the park was built on land sold from the city to the Batavia School District. 

ferrall park

MacArthur Park got its name from Douglas MacArthur. During WWII, the city organized an air raid observation post with headquarters in the baseball dugout at the ballpark. In 1961, the city cleared a small land area and built a picnic shelter with tables and grills behind the stadium.

Pringle Park was named after Judge Benjamin. Pringle also had a playground that was used for the summer recreation program.

In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Woodward from Le Roy gave the land along Richmond Ave. across from Robert Morris to the Batavia School District. This began the creation of Woodward Field. In honor of Mr. Woodward, his name is on the ticket booth, along with his good friend Andrew McWain, the editor of The Daily News at the time.

In 1915, the city owned a tract of land on Pearl Street that was left to the city in the will of Robert Williams. This was originally his farmland. Today, it is Williams Park.

lawn fete parade

The parks were open from 9 a.m. to noon and then from 1 to 5 p.m. Your days were filled with baseball and volleyball games and arts and crafts, and the summer's culmination was the Park Parade. Main Street closed, and the streets were crowded with spectators and store employees. Your park was judged on your float and your scrapbook. You became proficient in making hundreds of paper crepe flowers and how to add the flowers to chicken wire. The goal of each park was to create a unique float to represent the park. 

Friends were made for life at your neighborhood park. 

anne marie new pool batavia

In 1959, the building contract was awarded to Ed Leising to excavate a choice piece of land in MacArthur Park. It would be the home of the new community pool. When it opened in 1962, another chapter of our childhood was created.     It was a 60-foot by 100-foot pool that could accommodate 600 swimmers. Your afternoons were spent swimming in what I thought was the largest pool I ever saw. You rode your bike to the pool, paid your .25, and were given a key to a locker. When you left, you were given your quarter was returned, which we immediately used on one of the vending machines when we left the pool. 

Another wonderful memory of summer in the 60s was the church picnics, or as many called the lawn fetes.   St. Joseph's Church began the summer with its fete on the first June weekend. Rides, games, food, baked goods, and a beer tent were there. My favorite part was the mammoth parade that opened the weekend's picnic.  

anne marie lawn fetes

Our Mighty St. Joe's Drum Corps highlighted the parade. Main Street was packed with spectators. Parents and children in strollers lined Main Street. St. Joseph's Drum Corps was founded in 1931 by the Rev. T. Bernard Kelly, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Batavia. St. Joseph's Drum Corps operated as a parade corps until the late 1950s, when it became a field competition corps. During the 1960s, Mighty St. Joe's rose to National and International prominence, consistently ranking among the top ten junior corps in the country.

The end of the lawn fete was marked by the lucky winner of the raffle ticket. You couldn't forget the grand prize, a new Cadillac that would be raffled at midnight Sunday evening. If you didn't want the Cadillac, you could choose $10,000. 

St. Joe's wasn't the only church that had a lawn fete. 

St. Anthony's had one on a smaller scale, but it was just as fun. I loved their baked goods booth. They also had a popular beer tent.   

When our daughters were little, we would walk to the fete. I remember one year carrying our youngest daughter from the fish pond, screaming. She wasn't ready to leave, and when we got home, we discovered that she had a rubber fish in her hand from the fish pond. 

Sacred Heart Lawn fete was very special to me because you could always find my wonderful father-in-law in the church garage counting money. He was always happy to give his granddaughters cash for the games. It was a smaller lawn fete, but every booth had a church member operating it year after year. 

Every church supported the various lawn fetes. St. Mary's also had a Lawn Fete. 

It was the community that benefited from the summer events. My memories span from when I was nine to when the last lawn fete was held in 2017. It ran for 61 years. When you think of our lawn fetes, you remember the long lines for the waffle booth or the smell of Italian sausage,  pepper, onions, or, respectfully, Polish sausage being grilled at Sacred Heart's Lawn Fete. You got used to the sound of the game I've Got It or someone yelling Bingo.

So many of these beautiful memories are gone. I regret that children today will never experience the fun. We all remember walking the tarmac of the various lawn fetes, walking in their park parade with their float, or swimming in the New Pool. My heart is filled with great memories and the sadness of dealing with all the changes we baby boomers must accept. 

As you read this today, I hope you smile and remember our summers in Batavia. Smile and be thankful we lived at a time when lawn fetes, the park program, and the New Pool filled our summer days. 

Photos courtesy of Genesee County History Department.

lawn fete parade
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https://www.thebatavian.com/anne-marie-starowitz/remembrance-of-summers-past-fun-in-parks-lawn-fetes-parades/636678#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/anne-marie-starowitz/remembrance-of-summers-past-fun-in-parks-lawn-fetes-parades/636678 Oct 1, 2023, 8:00am parks Remembrance of summers past: Fun in parks, lawn fetes, parades Anne Marie Starowitz <div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-09/jpeg-lawn-fete.jpeg?itok=qOMSD4F4" width="800" height="987" alt="anne marie lawn fetes" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <div class="align-right"> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2023-09/thumbnail-1.jpg?itok=iSIvbiHz" width="280" height="542" alt="lawn fete" class="image-style-large"> </div> </div> <p>Summer highlights of the 60s included going to the neighborhood park, swimming in the afternoon at the New Pool, and attending the four lawn fetes scheduled throughout the summer.&nbsp;</p><p>The summer recreation program was divided into eight parks. Every neighborhood had a park, and the names of the</p>
City encourages residents to 'adopt a park' https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/city-encourages-residents-to-adopt-a-park/600980 Press release:

The City of Batavia would like to encourage members of the community to “adopt a park” and volunteer in cleaning city parks in honor of Earth Day. Residents are encouraged to take part in “adopt a park” on Saturday, April 23rd.

Batavia is very fortunate to have several local park settings with over 35 total acres of playgrounds and open land to offer to the public. Groups and individuals are encouraged to assist the City with improving parks through litter and debris pick-up in an effort to help keep parks and playgrounds clean and attractive. Your volunteer effort in our parks generates pride in our parks system, increases awareness of the importance of protecting our natural resources and will demonstrate commitment to your community in a way that promotes appreciation to beautify and keep our parks clean in Batavia.  Director of Public Works, Brett Frank said “On behalf of the City of Batavia, we’d like to thank all of our residents for the pride they take in keeping our parks clean and thank them in advance for their participation and support.”

Please use the receptacles within the parks or bring your own bags for refuse and gather yard waste in a separate pile that will be removed by the City.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/city-encourages-residents-to-adopt-a-park/600980#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/city-encourages-residents-to-adopt-a-park/600980 Apr 9, 2022, 4:35pm parks City encourages residents to 'adopt a park' Press Release <p>Press release:</p> <blockquote> <p>The City of Batavia would like to encourage members of the community to “adopt a park” and volunteer in cleaning city parks in honor of Earth Day. Residents are encouraged to take part in “adopt a park” on Saturday, April 23rd.</p> <p>Batavia is very fortunate to have several</p></blockquote>
Genesee County Park offering 'Winter Wonderland' hikes https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/genesee-county-park-offering-winter-wonderland-hikes/587890 Press Release:

Enjoy the forest in winter and track the secret lives of wild animals on a guided hike! Winter Wonderland Hikes are held at the Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park & Forest on the following Saturdays:

January 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm
February 12th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Hikes will go, snow or no snow. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family. Recommended for ages 3 and up! Space is limited! Pre-registration is required, call 585-344-1122! Masks must be worn whenever unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance.

Join us for Winter Fun Night Hikes from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on the following Saturdays:

January 8th Meet at the Interpretive Nature Center
February 12th Meet at Pavilion A

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the forest at night! Park guides lead you on a night hike for ages 18 and over.

Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family. Space is limited! Pre-registration is required, call 585-344-1122! Masks must be worn whenever unable to maintain 6 feet
of social distance.

Make a memory this winter with your own Private Group Snowshoe Hike! A Naturalist guides your group through peaceful woodland trails and open meadows. Listen to winter’s quiet beauty and find signs of wildlife in this 431-acre park. Private hikes are available on Saturdays in January and February from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm by reservation only at the Interpretive Nature Center. No previous experience is needed; snowshoes provided or bring your own. Rental is included in the price. Limit group size of 10 people. $5/person, minimum group fee is $50. Call 585-344-1122 to book your own adventure!

Snowshoe Rentals are available at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays December through March, weather permitting. Snowshoes must be used in the park. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the parks!

Call (585) 344-1122 to register. For more information visit our website at
http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/,

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/genesee-county-park-offering-winter-wonderland-hikes/587890#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/genesee-county-park-offering-winter-wonderland-hikes/587890 Jan 7, 2022, 5:40pm parks Genesee County Park offering 'Winter Wonderland' hikes Press Release <p>Press Release:</p> <blockquote> <p>Enjoy the forest in winter and track the secret lives of wild animals on a guided hike! Winter&nbsp;Wonderland Hikes are held at the Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park &amp; Forest on the following&nbsp;Saturdays:</p> <p>January 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 pm<br> February 12th from 1:00 pm</p></blockquote>
Winter Fun Programs 2022: At the Genesee County Park & Forest https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/winter-fun-programs-2022-at-the-genesee-county-park-forest/584512 Press Release:

Enjoy the forest in winter and track the secret lives of wild animals on a guided hike! Winter Wonderland Hikes are held at the Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park & Forest on the following  Saturdays:

January 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
February 12th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Hikes will go, snow or no snow. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family. Recommended for ages 3 and up! Space is limited! Pre-registration is required, call 585- 344-1122! Masks must be worn whenever unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance. Join us for Winter Fun Night Hikes from 7:00 to 9:00 pm on the following Saturdays: January 8th Meet at the Interpretive Nature Center February 12th Meet at Pavilion A.

Enjoy the tranquil beauty of the forest at night! Park guides lead you on a night hike for ages 18 and over. Snowshoes may be used, weather permitting, and are available for rent or you may bring your own. Snowshoeing lesson provided, no previous experience needed! Rental is included in the price, $5/person, $15 max/family. Space is limited! Pre-registration is required, call 585-344-1122! Masks must be worn whenever unable to maintain 6 feet of social distance Make a memory this winter with your own Private Group Snowshoe Hike! A Naturalist guides your group through peaceful woodland trails and open meadows. Listen to winter’s quiet beauty and find signs of wildlife in this 431- acre park. Private hikes are available on Saturdays in January and February from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm by reservation only at the Interpretive Nature Center. No previous experience is needed; snowshoes provided or bring your own.
Rental is included in the price. Limit group size of 10 people. $5/person, minimum group fee is $50. Call 585-344-1122 to book your own adventure! Snowshoe Rentals are available at the Genesee County Park & Forest Interpretive Center 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on
Thursdays and Fridays, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays December through March, weather permitting.
Snowshoes must be used in the park. Fee is $5/pair and all proceeds go to ACORNS, the nonprofit organization that supports the parks!

Call (585) 344-1122 to register. For more information visit our website at
http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/departments/parks/

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https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/winter-fun-programs-2022-at-the-genesee-county-park-forest/584512#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/press-release/winter-fun-programs-2022-at-the-genesee-county-park-forest/584512 Dec 18, 2021, 8:09pm parks Winter Fun Programs 2022: At the Genesee County Park & Forest Press Release <p>Press Release:</p> <blockquote> <p>Enjoy the forest in winter and track the secret lives of wild animals on a guided hike! Winter&nbsp;Wonderland Hikes are held at the&nbsp;Interpretive Nature Center at the Genesee County Park &amp; Forest on the following &nbsp;Saturdays:</p> <p>January 8th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.<br> February 12th from 1:00 to</p></blockquote>
City opens playgrounds Monday, invites sports teams to apply to use parks https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/city-opens-playgrounds-monday-invites-sports-teams-to-apply-to-use-parks/554796 Press release:

All City of Batavia playground equipment will be open for use Monday, June 22. Please continue to take safety measures and continue to observe all public health guidelines related to COVID-19 to reduce risk of transmission.

At this time, the City of Batavia will continue to evaluate the New York State Department of Health Guidance in an effort to reopen the City’s splash pad and pavilion rentals, but they remain closed this time. 

“The City of Batavia is also encouraging sports organizations, including youth baseball and softball, to submit their event application and insurance paperwork if they would like to utilize City playing fields this summer,” said Rachael Tabelski, assistant city manager.

“Along with the event application sports organizations will need to follow the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and provide the City of Batavia with a copy of their Safety Plan,” Tabelski said.

Event Application (PDF)

NYS DOH Sports & Recreation Guidance (PDF)

NYS Safety Plan Template (PDF)

The City encourages all residents to continue to take safety measures as they use common touch facilities like playground equipment and public bathrooms.

Please continue to observe all public health guidelines related to COVID-19 to reduce risk of transmission.  

The following measures are seen as best practices to keep residents safe when using shared equipment:

  • Spacing: Families and individuals should stay 6 feet apart from each other.
  • Masking: Families and individuals should wear masks, especially in situations when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Hand Hygiene: Children should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer after use of equipment.
  • Cleaning: The City will conduct scheduled cleaning of park equipment, but residents are welcomed to wipe down surfaces before and after use.
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https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/city-opens-playgrounds-monday-invites-sports-teams-to-apply-to-use-parks/554796#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/billie-owens/city-opens-playgrounds-monday-invites-sports-teams-to-apply-to-use-parks/554796 Jun 19, 2020, 2:21pm parks City opens playgrounds Monday, invites sports teams to apply to use parks Billie Owens <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <p>All City of Batavia playground equipment will be open for use Monday, June 22.&nbsp;Please continue to take safety measures and continue to observe all public health guidelines related to COVID-19 to reduce risk of transmission.</p> <p>At this time, the City of Batavia will continue to evaluate the New</p>
Photos: Eastern side of Ellicott Trail under construction https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-eastern-side-of-ellicott-trail-under-construction/543902

Yesterday I set out to take a look at the new bridge over the railroad tracks off of East Main Street Road on the eastern end of the Ellicott Street Trail, which is expected to open late in the fall.

It was a pretty scenic spot so I ended up walking the length of the trail from the bridge to West Main Street Road, where a crossing is being installed. Then I went over to DeWitt Recreation Area to see where a bridge is being installed at the back of the park.  

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-eastern-side-of-ellicott-trail-under-construction/543902#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-eastern-side-of-ellicott-trail-under-construction/543902 Sep 10, 2019, 10:27am parks Photos: Eastern side of Ellicott Trail under construction Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/60/2019-08/ellicotttrailprogress.jpg" width="460" height="689"> </div> </div> </p> <p>Yesterday I set out to take a look at the new bridge over the railroad tracks off of East&nbsp;Main Street Road on the eastern end of the Ellicott Street Trail, which is expected to open late in the fall.</p> <p>It was a pretty scenic spot so I ended up walking</p>
Photos: Ellicott Trail bridge installed over Tonawanda Creek https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-ellicott-trail-bridge-installed-over-tonawanda-creek/541707

The bridge that will span the Tonawanda Creek as part of the Ellicott Trail is being installed today.

The $1.7-million project will provide a biking and walking trail from just west of Williams Park to Seven Springs Road (see map).

(Editor's note: For a closer look at the trail map, click here.)

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-ellicott-trail-bridge-installed-over-tonawanda-creek/541707#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-ellicott-trail-bridge-installed-over-tonawanda-creek/541707 Aug 12, 2019, 12:09pm parks Photos: Ellicott Trail bridge installed over Tonawanda Creek Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/60/2019-07/ellicotttonawandabridgeaug2019.jpg" width="460" height="307"> </div> </div> </p> <p>The bridge that will span the Tonawanda Creek as part of the Ellicott Trail is being installed today.</p> <p>The&nbsp;$1.7-million project will provide a biking and walking trail from just west of Williams Park to Seven Springs Road (<a href="https://www.co.genesee.ny.us/images/parks/Finalized%20Ellicott%20Trail%20Map%202016.pdf">see map</a>).</p> <p><em>(Editor's note: For a closer look at the trail</em></p>
Students push for smoking ban at Genesee County parks https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/students-push-for-smoking-ban-at-genesee-county-parks/410226

Press release:

Students from Genesee County’s Reality Check program have noticed a big problem of littered cigarettes scattered all across county parks. So they’ve decided to do something about it.

This Saturday, Sept. 30, with plastic bags in hand, the students will go through DeWitt Recreation Area and pick up all the cigarette butts littering the park. The event will kick off at 10 a.m.

Reality Check is New York State’s youth-led movement aimed at exposing the deceptive marketing practices of the tobacco industry and supporting a tobacco-free generation for their peers.

Shelly Wolanske, youth engagement coordinator at Tobacco-Free GLOW, said the students got the idea when they were working out in the park this summer and noticed all the smokers and the butts they were leaving behind. The group wants their generation to be tobacco-free, and all citizens of Genesee County to breathe cleaner air when they are enjoying a picnic, bike ride or play time.

“I have trouble breathing when people around me are smoking,” said Ben Streeter, a freshman at Notre Dame High School. “Plus, we see so many cigarette butts near the playground where little kids play.”

To prevent children in the community from feeling those same effects due to secondhand smoke, Streeter and his fellow Reality Check advocates decided to rally for smoking bans in all the parks in Genesee County. Their Cigarette Butt Pickup on Saturday is the first event they are sponsoring to raise awareness for a smoking ban.

Wolanske said she and the students will take the plastic bags of cigarette butts collected with them to meetings with Genesee County elected officials to discuss a possible ban in the future. If Genesee County declares its parks tobacco-free, they would be following the lead of the City of Batavia, as well as other counties in New York State, including nearby Erie County.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/students-push-for-smoking-ban-at-genesee-county-parks/410226#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/students-push-for-smoking-ban-at-genesee-county-parks/410226 Sep 27, 2017, 4:17pm parks Students push for smoking ban at Genesee County parks Howard Owens <p><div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img loading="lazy" src="https://www.thebatavian.com/sites/default/files/users/60/2017-09/smok18010317_10154740667961634_310090889568729283_n.jpg" width="460" height="377"> </div> </div> </p> <p><em>Press release:</em></p> <blockquote> <p>Students from Genesee County’s Reality Check program have noticed a big problem of littered cigarettes scattered all across county parks. So they’ve decided to do something about it.</p> <p>This Saturday, Sept. 30, with plastic bags in hand, the students will go through DeWitt Recreation Area&nbsp;and pick up all</p></blockquote>
Doug Kelly brings innovation and a passion for the outdoors to job at Darien Lakes State Park https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/doug-kelly-brings-innovation-and-passion-outdoors-job-darien-lakes-state-park/34246

NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, The Batavian participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee County is a great place to live and to visit, click here for VisitGeneseeNY.com.

Doug Kelly gets to do things every day he really enjoys: Helping to maintain a diverse and interesting ecosystem and providing people with a place to play and relax.

"This park is a kind of joy for me," said Kelly, who is manager for Darien Lakes State Park. "I enjoy being able to work outdoors and have interaction with people who have come to be in the outdoors. I can teach them a little and give them something to enjoy."

Kelly overseas a more than 1,800 acres of woodlands and meadows with thousands of plant and animals species, a 12-acre recreational lake (boating, swimming and fishing), and 158 campsites.

In his four-year tenure as park manager he's introduced weekly music concerts and disk golf as well as overseen various conservation measures, including partnering with a local group to reclaim several acres of former farmland into meadows.

The park is traversed by more than 18 miles of trails, both for hiking and snowmobiling, and the picturesque-in-places Eleven Mile Creek.

"The amount of open space is really one of the park's strengths," Kelly said. "There are a variety of paths for activities and all of it is open for recreation, hiking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, hunting. That's a real plus for the park. You're able to camp here, hike here, swim here. That's the benefit of the park."

Kelly, who is married with two school-age children, lives in his hometown of Perry, in Wyoming County, just south of Genesee County. He started his parks career as a teenager at Darien Lakes, working as a recreation assistant.

As he completed his bachelor's in technology of wildlife management at SUNY Catskills, he moved his way up in park management. After a stint with the Delaware parks system, he moved back to New York and managed Beaver Island on Grand Island.

When the chance came to return to Darien Lakes, he couldn't let the opportunity pass by.

"The biodiversity of the park is special," Kelly said. "The land can vary so much, from older forest -- stands of trees that have been here before the park was formed -- to meadows we are helping to restore and maintain, and the shrub in between. That kind of layout gives the park a great number of different communities and habitats."

One of Kelly's biggest innovations at the park has been disk golf. The year-old course is bringing in amateur and pro golfers alike from throughout Western New York. Expert golfers find that the new course, which winds through an old apple orchard and wooded hills, presents a fun challenge.

Though Kelly doesn't play the sport himself, he learned how successful a course could be at Beaver Island.

"To see people that come in, a new group of people that never would have come if we didn't have this activity here, is really exciting," Kelly said.

He believes the challenging course will grow in popularity as more disk golfers learn about it.

All-in-all, Kelly said he will continue to work to find ways to improve the park and make it more attractive to the people of Western New York.

"Once in a while I hear, 'wow, I never knew this park was here,' " Kelly said. "If we can reach out and grab people who wouldn't normally come to the park and then they see what we have and come back year after year, that is really good."

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/doug-kelly-brings-innovation-and-passion-outdoors-job-darien-lakes-state-park/34246#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-owens/doug-kelly-brings-innovation-and-passion-outdoors-job-darien-lakes-state-park/34246 Mar 24, 2013, 12:06pm parks Doug Kelly brings innovation and a passion for the outdoors to job at Darien Lakes State Park Howard Owens <p></p> <p><em>NOTE: Earlier this year, the Chamber of Commerce published its annual Genesee County Tourism magazine and for the second year in a row, </em>The Batavian<em> participated in the publication by producing photos and stories. Today, for our Sunday reading, we're publishing four of our stories. For more on why Genesee</em></p>
Photos: Scouts clean up at DeWitt Park https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-scouts-clean-up-at-dewitt-park/31481

Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts were in DeWitt Park today for Earth Day to do a little clean up. The girls found a whole area of old auto parts that had been dumped, no doubt, decades ago, and dutifully picked up every scrap.

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https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-scouts-clean-up-at-dewitt-park/31481#comments https://www.thebatavian.com/howard-b-owens/photos-scouts-clean-up-at-dewitt-park/31481 Apr 21, 2012, 9:25pm parks Photos: Scouts clean up at DeWitt Park Howard Owens <p> </p> <p> Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts were in DeWitt Park today for Earth Day to do a little clean up. The girls found a whole area of old auto parts that had been dumped, no doubt, decades ago, and dutifully picked up every scrap.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>