The history of the Genesee Oaks goes back hundreds of years, when the Seneca Indians were the main inhabitants of the Genesee Valley. The Seneca Indians cleared land for hunting and growing crops. They then used periodic burning to maintain hunting clearings. These burnings left the scattered ‘Oak openings’ seen today with their broad and heavy trunked trees, most of which are more than 200 years old.
Upon settling the area, the Wadsworth family continued to act as stewards of the Oak trees for generations, beginning with the brothers James and William Wadsworth. The brothers stipulated that one shade tree be left per 2 acres of leased land, thus saving the Genesee Oaks from the pioneers’ axes.
The Oak trees were left standing because they provided valuable shade for livestock and did not interfere with agricultural practices in the Valley. The Oaks also created an American version of a picturesque English landscape that the Wadsworths valued and still enjoy today.
---Courtesy of the Genesee Valley Conservancy
Recently, the Genesee Valley Conservancy held a February 29 bonfire in the field bordered by Nations Road and Avon-Geneseo Rd. to celebrate Leap Day and 30 years of service to our area. It was a cold and snowy day, but that did not stop a number of people from attending this unique event that enabled participants to wander the fields unrestricted.
Please note that the property along Nations Road is private. Please do not trespass!
Check out their information at geneseevalleyconservancy.org. Your support for this is always needed and greatly appreciated.