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By Aaron Besecker, The Buffalo News, link to full article

A retired lumber yard owner from Wrights Corners bought some land just north of the Erie Canal in 1977, hoping to one day use it to raise beef cattle. The cows never came, and William F. Lytle has turned most of the land over to the town for use as both a park and nature preserve.

The park area includes about 35 acres — about 13 acres is state-designated wetlands — off North Canal Road, Lytle said. Aside from the wetlands, it has fewer restrictions for use than another 75-acre area that will be protected by an easement.

The nature preserve includes about 50 acres where wild grasses have been planted to support wildlife. Some of the restrictions on the preserve prohibit the use of motorized vehicles as well as paved roadways.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the town had previously announced it was looking to build some trails in the park but subsequently received phone calls from some concerned residents. The town will hold meetings to allow the community to decide what it wants.

Lytle has sold 1z building lots on Canal Road to the town for $33,000. The rest of the land was donated. The land that was sold will be used to connect the new park with the Erie Canalway Trail.

The town and Lytle worked with the Western New York Land Conservancy in establishing the easement for the nature preserve.  Town officials also hope to connect the new park and nature preserve with John B. Austin Nature Park on Slayton Settlement Road.

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