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Mapping of wetlands in Lytle Park completed; Part of effort to get walking trail approval

Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon told the Town Board last week that mapping of the wetlands within Lytle Park has been completed, one of the steps needed to win a permit to develop the park.

The delineation of the wetlands had to be done before the town could obtain permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to run a trail through the wetlands in the park.

The town is applying for $94,802 in Niagara River Greenway funding to expand the parking lot and extend a trail into the park off North Canal Road.

Yahoo is donating stone fill for the parking lot expansion from the scrapings on the construction site of its new data center in the town's industrial park, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said.

The parking project will double the size of the existing 12-space parking lot.

The 75-acre park, on land donated to the town by the late William F. Lytle, was envisioned by him as primarily a nature park.

There are strict limitations to its development, under terms of a conservation easement the Western New York Land Conservancy obtained from Lytle.

But the town is able to run a walking trail through the park after the grass along the planned route is mowed.

"The asphalt trail only goes a few hundred feet into the park. After that, it's wood chips," Smith said.

The trail through the wetlands may consist of boards where it's too wet for wood chips to do the job, he added.

The County Legislature passed a resolution Dec. 14 endorsing the Greenway funding request, which also won a thumbs-up in November from the Niagara River Greenway Commission.

The Greenway purse strings in Niagara County are actually controlled by the Host Communities Standing Committee, whose next meeting has not yet been scheduled.

The total project cost is estimated at $174,043. The amount not covered by the Greenway funds is accounted for by the value of the work town crews would perform in laying out the parking lot and the trails, Smith said.

"All trails will be at least 100 feet away from any residence," said Smith, mindful of some questions raised by nearby homeowners.

The supervisor reported that Highway Superintendent David J. Miller wants to carry out the work in 2011, but the timing is unknown because Miller's men have two other park projects on their agenda for the new year.

Smith said those include construction of a restroom building at Day Road Park, and the layout of a memorial tree park there. Stedman's Nursery of Newfane is to take charge of the planting of as many as 80 trees, Councilwoman Cheryl A. Antkowiak said.

She said considerable interest in dedicating trees has already been expressed by local residents.

Klavoon said a map will be drawn that will try to spread out the different species of trees Stedman's will make available.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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