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Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 28, 2020, 06:57:23 pm »

I forgot!   One of the main reasons we mow the grass frequently is to reduce visitors exposure to this!  --
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: March 18, 2020, 02:14:25 am »

I was just adding a post to my Oxbow Blog and came across this page from last year. This says it all folks.

Posted by: Doug K
« on: February 25, 2020, 04:37:01 pm »

I will only say the irony of the Facebook post is just another example of how this Stop the Canal Clearing group, and it's Leadership, seems to simply miss the obvious truth and replace it with their own version.

Without the work of Mike Caswell, and host of NY Canal Adopt-a-Trail Volunteers, that picture opportunity being shown in the image on that Facebook Post would not have been possible to take. You just couldn't see the shoreline at all before Mike took over. As one of the ECNA Co-Founders I have stood where the picture was taken, that Ms. Agte is so pleased with, both before AND after the Oxbow Trail was cleared. The picture you see in the post would have been impossible to take 3 years ago, it was a gnarled mess of vines, and the only opening along the shoreline was a small animal trail through the underbrush.

Invasive plants had taken over the Oxbow Trail after it sat "idle" for 8 months while the surrounding neighbors were arguing about "what it should look like".

The Oxbow Trail Cleanup all started when this Boy Scout wanted to clear the trail shown behind him... and he undertook that work against stiff opposition from Ms. Agte. Look at how thick the growth is on the Oxbow Trail in 2017. The Scouts cleared much of the debris but were harassed to no end by few "citizens" led by self-professed "environmentalist" named Elizabeth.

Before the Spring of 2018, the Erie Canal Neighbors Association "adopted" the Oxbow Lake Trail & Park. Mike Caswell, an ECNA Co-Founder, applied for and received the sponsorship from NY Parks & Trails for the Oxbow Loop as it is called. Our Host Permit lasts through 2020 and the ECNA intends to renew our Sponsorship through the next two years to build on what we started.

Mike has gathered many local volunteers to help cleanup the Oxbow ever since 2018. He has spent hours each Spring, cutting back more ragweed, planting more flowers and trying to canvas people to help with the grass cutting. The ECNA team meets 3 or 4 weekends per season, trying to clear just a little more each time, as we build thicket patches with our clippings away from the main trail path.

Most of that cost of grass care is covered by Mr. Caswell  himself... if the Oxbow GoFundMe doesn't cover expenses.

This is what the Oxbow is looking like these days as a result of the hard work of many people, and the dedication of one man.

And it's all because of the ECNA's decision to make a difference along the Erie Canal. It just takes a couple old guys with tools & rakes

And also groups of dedicated volunteers that pull up there sleeves and tackle a problem head on and cut it down to pun intended.

And before you know it you have a nice cleared Trail & Park for all to enjoy. There is plenty of wildlife there, and in the summer this spot is becoming a favorite with kayakers & fishermen. When the Adopt-a-Trail Team meets each Spring we see plenty of animal tracks and the bird watching is excellent in this nice Canal wide-water area. I have counted dozens using this trail in the 3-4 hours we spend there each time.

But there is one thing we know we won't see down at the Oxbow Park... this person lending a hand to keep the Oxbow Trail cleared like Mike's other neighbors have been doing.

Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: February 25, 2020, 03:35:42 pm »

And the comments are coming in.  This one is my favorite. Author's name withheld.

Mike, I would take exception with you about the fact that we have lost some insects. The old tires that used to proliferate the oxbow harbored many families of mosquitoes over many generations. It is a sad loss.

I do agree with you about the pot smoking teenagers although it does conjure some Familiar memories of the past. They were known for dumping their Bongwater in the canal which could be considered a toxin by even the carp.
I thought Elizabeth looked very pale and wan the last time I saw her and now I know why. She has not been able to eat the nuts and berries she lived On and probably misses the squirrel meat, as well.

The jack ass actually took a fairly nice picture of the great job we have done making the Oxbow nicer. I think she shot herself in the blank with that tactic.
Change is difficult for some people especially the delusional.Perhaps when they start to clear the canal embankments, she’ll throw herself in front of a chainsaw.
Posted by: Michael Caswell
« on: February 25, 2020, 10:05:58 am »

THIS is another feeble attempt to discredit me personally, and the Canal Corporation as well, probably because she is losing her battle on the Canal Embankment Integrity Program making the canal safer for all of New York.

I would remind everyone that I and the Erie Canal Neighbors Association (ECNA) have a permit from the NYPA and Parks and Trail NY to restore and maintain the Oxbow Trail. I have had the Oxbow Loop Trail put BACK on the map as a registered trail for Parks & Trails NY.

So what has the ECNA done so far in the Oxbow?

We removed truckloads of junk, left over from the days when there were cottages along the shoreline. oil drums, sewage tanks, wire fences, tires, railroad ties, even kitchen sinks.
We cut down all the bittersweet vines, black locust, Amur Honeysuckle, Japanese Knotweed, and every known ILLEGAL invasive species plant we could find per NYS directives.

We mowed 2-3 acres using a contractor several times to reduce the Ragweed that was harboring ticks (mostly at my own personal expense).

We made the area open so teenagers smoking pot could no longer congregate there, as was evidenced on numerous occasions. Fishing access to the canal has dramatically improved, and more people are using the area for the sport.

We made the area safe for children who use the Oxbow Trail to get to school. Undesirables can no longer lurk in the ragweed.

I personally have planted over 500 daffodil bulbs throughout the Oxbow. You will see them this spring.

I have just been informed that the originator of the effort to clean up The Oxbow, one Ever Gavelis, has been awarded his EAGLE SCOUT badge, as this clean up (that Ms Agte so despises), was his original project for that prestigious award. Ms. Agte actually harassed these Boy Scouts during their entire project. It was disgraceful behavior.

Here's my Oxbow Blog Story about this amazing Eagle Scout

As for the lack of wildlife, this woman does not know what she is talking about.

There are three foxes who live here, I see them almost every day. This time of year they cross the frozen canal by my back yard. My dogs are always barking at them.

There are numerous piles of fallen branches throughout the woodland here that were made; homemade thickets for foxes and other animals to make their homes under them.

Bald Eagles and Red Tailed Kites are regulars. Red and grey squirrels are everywhere. We have cormorants, herons, Merganser ducks, Mallards and a host of diving ducks. I saw an otter last summer, on the island. Mink, muskrats and coyotes are regular visitors.

I see them every day, all day because of my view to the Oxbow from my back deck, I'm not just looking on a 3 minute walk like Ms Agte does.

Try my view here - it's a LIVE camera

You only have to walk The Oxbow on a sunny morning to hear the noise of all the birds chirping. Try it.

The woman is a profound twister of the truth, and a hypocrite. How anyone can support her is totally beyond me... when she can't even support Canal Trail work in her own neighborhood. Ms Agte has posted a photo on her Facebook page in the past, of a snapping turtle laying eggs in the middle of the Oxbow Trail last year. I think that says it all. (I also just noticed she has removed the photo since, perhaps it doesn't jibe with this latest rant of hers?)

Come visit the Oxbow Trail soon. It's a nice walk to take in Fairport, compliments of the Erie Canal Neighbors Association.