When I read Steel's posts on sprawl
, I am always left to wonder what the best ways to preserve our natural resources might be. Of course sensitive zoning is one way to make sure that vital land is protected, but there are other proactive ways of safeguarding pristine wilderness so that clear-cutting woodlands doesn't lead to over-developed land. Some say that building 'up' the city with taller buildings offers people desirable residences that would draw them back into the urban core. Others note that there are urban parcels on the East Side that would offer homeowners land as well, if only a Master Plan could be enacted upon that would help to stabilize the neighborhoods.
In the end, there is one surefire way to protect pristine country land from overdevelopment, and that is to purchase the land in order to designate it "Forever Wild". This morning I received an email from Kathy Lasher who wrote that she and others were in the midst of attempting to purchase 60 acres of land from a property owner who was set on selling to any party that would be willing to pay the asking price. The owner did tell the group (Friends of Mill Road) that they would have until the end of 2012 to come up with the money. When I read Kathy's email, I couldn't help but think how my grandfather had once fought to preserve land as "Forever Wild" in the Adirondacks 50 years ago. Today that land is as beautiful as the day when he fought to protect it. I understand the plight that Kathy and her friends are faced with, and am convinced that until rigid land use initiatives are drafted and implemented, purchasing unspoiled land for "Forever Wild' purposes is the way to preserve the land for future generations to enjoy.
From Friends of Mill Road:
The view from Mill Road between Sweet and Blakely is one of Aurora, NY's most treasured. Generations of Western New Yorkers have enjoyed the scenic vistas across the valley, breathtaking in all four seasons, from wildflowers and bright green meadow in springtime to the snow-draped evergreens of winter. With a 180-degree panoramic view to the west, this is the perfect place to watch the mist rise in the morning or to witness the sun sinking below the ridges at day's end.
The Friends of Mill Road, a citizens group, has a one-time opportunity to secure this property for future generations by purchasing and preserving the 60 acres of open space that create this view. The purchase agreement with the landowners gives the group until the end of 2012 to raise the funds needed to acquire the property, construct a scenic overlook and place a conservation easement on the property to protect it forever.
The group has embarked on a $630,000 capital campaign to purchase The Mill Road Scenic Overlook. While they are well on their way to their goal, they still need to raise additional funds. Project partners include the Town of Aurora and the Western New York Land Conservancy.
The public is invited to The Mill Road Project Spring Gala on Saturday, June 9 at the Roycroft Power House in East Aurora. The event will include lite fare, cash bar, jazz guitar music by Natural Elements Duo and a silent auction featuring such items as silent auction items like a fly-fishing trip, balloon ride, and a yacht tour of the Buffalo waterfront. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/247073
, at the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora or from committee members.