It’s Official! A new trail for Fairport!

After over a year of the Boy Scout project stagnating, the Canal Corporation has come up with a great plan to get the Oxbow trail maintenance running again.

The problem was that after all the great work done by The Boy Scouts, their permit (and energy) ran out, and no one was able to take on the responsibility because of Workers Comp Insurance being so costly for individuals.

So now the Oxbow has been taken under the wing of the Canal Corporation Adopt-a-Trail program and all volunteers are covered by Workers Comp Insurance.

You can see it on this map if you scroll into the Oxbow.   Parks and Trail Map

The permits are issued to Michael Caswell and the Erie Canal Neighbors Association (ECNA). So far seven families have registered to volunteer to help transform the area into a delightful place to stroll, to view the waterfront, watch the wildlife, fish and kayak.

The work has already commenced this week with a brush hog machine removing the very overgrown ragweed, Swallow-wort, Japanese Knotweed and some Amur Honeysuckle.

Brush-hog
Volunteer mowing the weeds!

The project will involve maintaining the trail itself, filling in the very muddy Erie Crescent potholes,  and keeping it clear of weeds. The surrounding areas will be mowed occasionally, to keep the ragweed down and promote grass.  Areas will be designated for the promotion of stands of Milkweed (for the Monarch butterflies) and mainly indigenous perennials flowers like Spiderwort, Lupins, and Coneflowers, with the main purpose of promoting  butterfly and bee habitats.  Family groups are volunteering to take up sections of the trail to care for these specific areas.

Other groups will be making bat and butterfly houses, to  be hung on the old telegraph poles.

If you are interested in volunteering as a family group or individually, please contact admin(@)ecna.us

Unfortunately, for most of this summer, our local lads have not been able to access much of the shoreline thanks to eight foot high Knotweed and Ragweed. Hopefully it won’t be too late for our young fishermen to get in some good fishing over the next few months.

One rather large ground wasp nest was found recently along the shoreline, but the Canal Corp is sending out an exterminator shortly to eradicate it. This nest is extremely aggressive and dangerous.

Another tank was found buried in the woods. It is a septic tank holding about 600 gallons of sewage, a remnant of the last cottages that had no mains connection. The tank tops are concrete but easily removed by children and dangerous. The NYPA has their removal on their list.

After the mowing yesterday, many more lengths of wire fencing were discovered tangled in the undergrowth. Their removal is imminent.

We’re hoping that this small trail will become a popular walk for the local folks in Old Orcharde and Old Post Road areas.

Unfortunately, the bridge is still washed out, and the path is closed which is probably a good thing because of all the weed trimmers working from time to time. The NYPA has this repair on it’s very long list of jobs to bring the canal system to a safe situation.

You can see the actual washout happening during the storm here!

If you don’t want to help with the upkeep, perhaps you’d like to chip in a small sum to help pay for mowing costs and other incidentals like flower seeds, fuel, protective gear for the workers etc. please go to our gofundme page

 

 

 

Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see www.mud-skipper.com). I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my wife Carol and our two dogs.

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