WNY Land Conservancy needs help to begin walking trail in Town of Aurora

Owens Falls in Aurora NY
Owens Falls Sanctuary. Photo courtesy Vijay Swamy

The Western New York Land Conservancy needs help from the community to complete a walking trail system so the public can access their newest preserve, the Owens Falls Sanctuary.

The Owens Falls Sanctuary, which includes two beautiful waterfalls, a deep ravine and acres of mature forest, is located in the Town of Aurora between Center Street and Hubbard Road near Major’s Park.

The area wasn’t accessible before, but now that the Land Conservancy has acquired the property, it wants to open it to the public. To do that, it needs the trails.

The Land Conservancy wants to construct an entrance on Center Street as well as the first section of the trail, which will take visitors from Center Street to the top of the waterfalls.

The Land Conservancy needs to raise at least $25,000 by Nov. 15 so the preserve can be opened to the public, possibly by spring.

Donations from the community enabled the Land Conservancy to buy the 57-acre property in December 2016.

“The community’s generosity protected this important place,” said Executive Director Nancy Smith, “and now we need the community to make the walking trail become a reality.”

You can donate online or send a check with “Owens Falls” in the memo line to the Western New York Land Conservancy, P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052.

The trail was designed by a nationally-renowned firm, Tahawus Trails.

After purchasing the property, the Land Conservancy began a planning process to determine how best to make the preserve accessible while also protecting sensitive wildlife habitats. The trail will allow hiking and snowshoeing, and new benches will allow visitors to enjoy a quiet moment in nature.

The land provides important habitat for wildlife, including migratory birds and breeding frogs and salamanders. It is a headwater forest of the Niagara River and serves as a filter that improves water quality for thousands of people downstream.

It is also important culturally. Previous owners were descendants of Roycrofters, and Elbert Hubbard likely visited during his lifetime.

For more information, contact the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225 or info@wnylc.org.

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2 Comments on “WNY Land Conservancy needs help to begin walking trail in Town of Aurora

  1. I just became a member after reading this article and encourage others to do the same. If you care about nature this is a worthwhile cause.

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