Thanksgiving Report

From the desk of our Chairman, Peter Lent

November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving Update  and a Request for a Donation

Hello everyone.

I thought around Thanksgiving would be a good time to give you an update on the activities we have been involved in this year and our future plans. Considering the concerns with the transmission of the Covid-19 virus, the Oatka Creek Watershed Committee, Inc. (OCWC) has adapted and has been able to stay active this year. Beginning with our April meeting we switched to using Zoom conference calls, because we could not use our regular meeting place at the Woodward Memorial Library in the Village of Leroy.

One of our most important activities will continue to be developing collaborative activities with the local communities in the Oatka Creek watershed. These activities would implement and promote the management practices, approaches and strategies for watershed protection and restoration, as described in the Oatka Creek Watershed Management Plan (WMP) that was completed in 2015. Prior to the influence of Covid-19, Committee Board members made presentations to introduce the WMP to the Village of Scottsville and the Town Wheatland in 2019 and to the Village of LeRoy in January of this year. With the effects of Covid-19, our pace has slowed, but we are planning for a Town of Pavilion presentation in December and then one for the Village of Caledonia. Once we complete the initial presentations for communities in Genesee & Livingston Counties, we plan to move on to the Wyoming Co. municipal presentations. We also plan to reengage and finalize the collaboration agreement, at the County level, with Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, and Wyoming counties.

We feel we have already benefitted from the initial presentations. We have partnered with the Village of LeRoy and the Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) for improvements to be made on the west bank of Oatka Creek as it flows past the Village’s Mill Street Park. SWCD has prepared a planting plan for the streambank and will be looking for a funding source for the project and the Village has agreed to provide funding, as well.  OCWC will be looking for volunteers to help SWCD and Village staff with planting. We will send out notice of the event through the mailing list and on our Facebook page.

Earlier this year, the Monroe Co. SWCD contacted OCWC requesting help with planting surplus trees that needed a home. On short notice, OCWC sent out a request for volunteers to help plant trees at two locations on consecutive Saturdays in June. The weather cooperated and the volunteers responded, as well. With the help of 30 volunteers, we were able to plant 300 trees to supplement our previous plantings along the trout fishing trail in Monroe County’s Oatka Creek Park. The next Saturday we were joined by 40 volunteers to plant 250 trees along Oatka Creek in the Town of Wheatland’s undeveloped Indian Allen Park.  Both planting events were undertaken using Covid-19 protocols. All attendees were required to have a mask or appropriate face covering and to wear it at all times when the appropriate social distancing was unlikely to be possible. Town of Wheatland contacts, which were developed after our initial presentation to the Town, facilitated the undertaking of the plantings at Indian Allen Park. The Town of Wheatland Highway Department was actively involved with mowing fields to provide for volunteer parking and to provide pathways and cleared areas for planting, as well as then joining in with planting activities. Additional partnerships with the Town to undertake additional riparian corridor improvements along Oatka Creek in the Park have been discussed recently.

As a non-profit 501c3 organization with no paid staff, but with a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, we are extremely thankful to those volunteers that have made it possible for us to make positive improvements to the water quality of Oatka Creek and its adjacent vegetated buffer areas (riparian areas). However, there is much more to do.

Since 2015, we have planted trees along Oatka Creek from its headwaters north of the Village of Warsaw to Indian Allen Park, located within a half mile from the confluence of Oatka Creek and the Genesee River. After trees are planted, the planting areas are monitored and maintained. One of our volunteers has spent countless hours of dedication to improving the largest planting area we have in Oatka Creek Park. In addition to nurturing the trees we originally planted he has worked at planting additional kinds of trees that will flourish in the riparian environment next to streams and provide a more diverse tree canopy.

Although we look for grants to support planting projects, they do not usually include funds for on-going monitoring, maintenance supplies or special purchasing of additional tree varieties after the initial funded project has been completed.

Considering our current and upcoming activities and circumstances, I am requesting that you consider making a donation to the Oatka Creek Watershed Committee, Inc. on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 “Giving Tuesday”.  Donations can be made via PayPal on our Website’s Home Page at or by by sending the donation to our mailing address:

 Oatka Creek Watershed Committee, Inc.


Scottsville NY 14546-0181

Thank You for your help and assistance,

Peter Lent

Chair, Oatka Creek Watershed Committee

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