The trail known as Oxbow Road travels from Erie Crescent to Old Post Road. One side is wooded and owned by The Fairport School District, and on the other side is the backwater of The Erie Canal and it is owned by NYS Canal Authority.
The last house burned down approximately two years ago and since then the area has decayed badly. Almost all the ground cover has been obliterated with noxious Ragweed, growing some six to eight feet tall, blinding out light and nutrient to almost everything else, and causing untold misery for anyone unfortunate to be effected with the spores, which make eyes water, skin blister, coughing, sneezing and more. These symptoms only abate after the first frost, which kills the plant, but not the roots.
There were dozens of small cottages constructed along the shoreline and their remains still clutter the area. Metal posts, wire fencing, oil drums, tires and more, far too much more.
Huge trees, some eighty feet tall, are rotting at their bases and tower dangerously over the trail. Several have already fallen and the authorities have sawn up the branches and left piles of logs everywhere, not disposing of their mess.
Even the stream that runs from Hart’s Wood to The Canal is mistreated. As it flows under the trail through a culvert, the branches, twigs and leaves get stuck at the mouth of the culvert and need regularly cleaning out, but the authorities simply lift the debris out and throw it into a huge pile on the side of the stream. It often falls back into the culvert, when the stream floods, or gets washed into the canal.
These woods and shoreline are a natural beauty and should be treated as such. The debris needs to be picked up, the Ragweed and Poison Ivy need killing, the brush needs clearing out, some areas need regular mowing to keep weeds at bay.
There are numerous spots where indigenous plants could be planted in swampy, shoreline and woodland areas.
Hopefully our local authorities can be brought together to grant permission for volunteers to clean up this mess and turn it into a nature reserve attracting animals, birds, bees and butterflies, making it a real pleasure for local residents to spend time and enjoy the tranquility here.