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Address to Greece Town Board

September 18, 2001

Submitted by Annie O’Reilly,


Dear Members of the Greece Town Board:

As I was walking yesterday in Greece Canal Park I noticed this pheasant feather. I thought of the pheasant and the scores of finches I saw and the wild turkeys and the hundreds of migrating birds who stop to rest in Greece. And then I thought of my brother who lost his home last Tuesday in Battery Pl. and the anguish in not being able to go back. That is what will happen to so much wildlife if we build the soccer complex in and near the Greece Canal Park and if we do not have a serious green space plan. I urge you to postpone voting on the Master Plan. I strongly recommend, as a longtime resident of  Greece, that the alternative plan that was presented to you in August by Barbara Pierce be seriously considered.

  • Greece does not have adequate park land for a population of about 100,000 people.
  • The Greece Master Plan was based on the false assumption that we have an excess of 4,000 acres of open space. In the Braddock Bay area, 2,000 of those acres are under water or marsh land. Also, very small parks as well as playgrounds were added in. 

  • Greece Canal Park is the least developed and most used park in Greece – it needs to continue to be used for passive recreation. 

  • The 490 acres that were sold to Greece by Kodak was bought with Greece taxpayer money, not with our town supervisor’s money. So, I beg of you to bring this issue to the taxpayers and let us decide what to do with our land. 

  • Greece has an agricultural heritage because of farms like the Elmgrove Fruit Farm which is situated on the 490 acres. There are many enterprising things done on farms today that do not subsist on crops. Mazes, tours of farms, afternoon teas, hay rides and many other ventures are proving that it is profitable to a town to preserve its farmland.

  • The Genesee Land Trust has found that green open space adds value to existing homes. We can capitalize on the fact that Greece is an important bird area. Let’s use the talents of our citizens and seize this wonderful opportunity to put Greece on the map in a way we can be very proud of!

  •  We have much toxic waste in Greece due to Kodak and other industries. We owe it to our health and the health of our children to purify the air as only trees and fallow fields can. The Arbor Day Foundation stated in its July 2001 newsletter: “…the loss of forests contribute to less wildlife diversity, a reduction of air and water quality, the loss of future wood products and other environmental problems. For suggestions on how to change the trend and other information on fragmentation, visit”

 Let’s plan wisely. The Sierra Club says “Poorly planned development is threatening our environment, our health, and our quality of life. Sprawl scattered development increases traffic, saps local resources and destroys open space.”

Conservation easements and development easements should be available to landowners in Greece so they can be encouraged to preserve farmland and wooded property.   There are many agencies that are ready and willing to help us in our efforts such as the Genesee Land Trust, American Farmland Trust, Nature Conservancy and many others. Let’s use their expertise! I am willing to speak to anyone on this issue. Please contact me. Thank you for your time.


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Last modified: 02/01/02