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Grand Island preserve reopens with trails

Grand Island preserve reopens with trails

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Publicly accessible trails are now open at a nature preserve in Grand Island.

The Margery Gallogly Nature Sanctuary, a 145-acre hickory and oak forest, had been closed for construction since 2018, when the land was purchased by the Western New York Land Conservancy. The public can gain entrance by entering Assumption Cemetery on Whitehaven Road and looking for the trail in the southwestern corner of the cemetery.

The Land Conservancy bought the land from Catholic Cemeteries of the Roman Catholic Diocese, which still owns the cemetery. The forest is open for hiking and in the winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. 

The large, wooded wetlands provide a haven for migratory songbirds as well as native plants and animals. The Land Conservancy will begin controlling invasive shrubs, like buckthorn, at the sanctuary this fall.

"We are thrilled that Western New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds can now enjoy this marvelous wetland forest, one of Grand Island’s most ecologically significant treasures, for generations to come,” Kasey DeLuke said in a statement for the Gallogly Family Foundation, which was instrumental in making the preserve possible. 

Mark Sommer covers preservation, development, the waterfront, culture and more. He's also a former arts editor at The News. 

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The Western New York Land Conservancy has received $35,000 from New York state to support the creation of the Margery Gallogly Nature Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a 140-acre forested wetland surrounding Assumption Cemetery on Grand Island near the Niagara River. The conservatory is finalizing the purchase of the property from Catholic Charities, and plans to seek community input for

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