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State Parks revisits mowing plan for West River Shoreline Trail

Sat, Jun 15th 2019 07:00 am

Residents along the West River will soon receive a letter from the state detailing additional mowing that was previously planned along the West River Shoreline Trail.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is revisiting initial plans for maintenance of the new trail. Thursday afternoon, Angela Berti of State Parks said a letter that outlines the plan was to be mailed out dated June 13 from Western District Director Mark Mistretta to all residents on West River via first-class mail. Berti sent an email to government officials as a heads up.

Work will start on Monday of next week, she said.

“Mark Mistretta asked me to update you regarding mowing on West River Road,” Berti wrote in the email. “Following a meeting this week with members of the Grand Island Town Board, the deputy supervisor, as well as homeowners from West River, Parks has revised our mowing plan.”

“We are hopeful that this solution will alleviate everyone’s concerns and we can all move forward together to create a world class trail,” she wrote in the email, which was sent to council members Bev Kinney, Pete Marston, Jennifer Baney, Mike Madigan, Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello, and the office of State Sen. Chris Jacobs.

In his letter to residents, Mistretta writes: “After meeting with Town Board members Kinney and Madigan, Deputy Supervisor Jim Sharpe and West River Homeowners Association President June Crawford, we have revisited the plan for maintenance along the West River Shoreline Trail.

“The original intention – as indicated in renderings – was to create a varied, organic landscape with meandering areas of lawn and meadow which would create a more contemporary parklike setting. During project design and construction, it was stated that the area would be maintained as a park and given our mandate across the state to reduce mowing and help encourage natural restoration areas. Initially, we planned to incorporate some of that on this trail in the 50/50 plan -- 50% lawn and 50% meadow. However, after receiving numerous phone calls as well as input at this meeting, we have revisited that plan and will instead mow much more than initially planned. As such, we will execute an 80/20 plan – 80% lawn and 20% meadow.

“The 80/20 plan will leave wet areas, low points, drainage swales and areas in front of undeveloped parcels with taller meadow grasses. Everywhere else that is practical will be mowed. Please understand that to accomplish this, it will take at least a couple of mowings as well as a redeployment of staff from other projects, including invasive removals along the shoreline, to accomplish the goal of a more uniformed landscape. We ask for your continued patience as we work to develop an area we can all be proud of.

“We also continue to ask that private mowing of the median stop. Our counsel’s office has provided the following clarification for your edification: The land (West River Median) is the property of the State of New York and under the jurisdiction of the Office of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Mowing of the grass on this property by anyone other than State Parks is strictly prohibited. Any person mowing in this area is violating 6 NYCRR 375.1(e) and is subject to penalties pursuant to PRHPL section 27.11(b).

“Lastly, to clarify, brush removal permits will not be granted this year while we continue to develop this parkland. Once a successful mowing plan is achieved, we can begin to address the needed shoreline improvements, including removal of invasives and creation of additional viewsheds.

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