Community in action, Part I: Sprucing up the Highland Crossing Trail

Community in action, Part I: Sprucing up the Highland Crossing Trail

[3/20/21 Kadience (left) and Ginny Lenyk in the cattails next to the trail and across from Empire State College. Environmental educator Nancy Condon, of Two Naturalists, noted: “Those ladies are standing by phragmites, an invasive wetland plant crowding out the native, more wildlife beneficial cattails. It’s hard to get rid of because you have to get roots and all.” Except where indicated photos by David Kramer]

After nine articles and a poem on the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton, I thought I’d run dry of material. (SEE AT END) Hardly.

This morning I learned that Christine Platt organized a cleanup of the Trail, the first today at 9:30am and the second on Saturday the 27th also at 9:30am. When arriving on this sparkling early spring day, about 15 people were clearing debris and trash accumulated on the trail and adjacent fields.

See you there next Saturday! Parking available at Empire State College on 680 Westfall Road. For any additional info, contact Christine at [email protected]

Christine explains why she organized the cleanup:

As I approach two and a half years sober, I find walking to be a vital part of my recovery. I try to walk each day and enjoy exploring my surroundings. Being outdoors brings me peace and joy. I enjoy the silence and beauty of nature. There was a time in my life where joy did not exist. Today, I take each day as an opportunity to grow and connect with new people. I took notice to the trash along the trail and told myself, “well, if you don’t like it, do something about it!” Simple as that. In reaching out through social media, I found like minded people to support my mission. I hope to grow and continue clean-ups throughout Brighton and beyond. I have so much gratitude. Just for today.

We filled roughly ten 55 gallon bags provided by Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle. He supported my journey and came through with supplies provided by the town and contacted Empire State College to gain permission for parking. We have many more bags to fill and will be gathering again next Saturday, the 27th at 9:30 A.M.

Brighton Town Supervisor William Moehle. Bill and the Hill block views. (in background, Ginny and Kadience Lenyk)

(l-r) Craig Jensen, Amanda Wong-Jensen, Teja Jensen, Christine Platt and Kathy Kuczek

Brighton cadets of the Girl Scouts Troop 60124 working towards their silver badge, troop mom, Norah McCormick

I truly appreciate the support from the dozen or so people that came out today.

Chris Gangai (in background, Brighton Town Council Member Christine Corrado and Kathy Kuczek)

Kathy Kuczek (left) and Christine Corrado

Kadience (left) and Ginny Lenyk (in background, Craig Jensen)

Craig Jensen discovered this doll covered with moss. Craig imagines the doll is returning to the earth from whence it came. Craig entitles the photo Into the Wild. [Photo: Craig Jensen]

Some debris in the woods. Someone left a perfectly serviceable rake.

David Kramer in an abandoned chair dumped in the abandoned farm next to the trail. [Photo: Christine Platt]

[UPDATE: see Illegal and unethical dumping next to abandoned farm at the Highland Crossing with Christine Platt]


Illegal and unethical dumping next to abandoned farm at the Highland Crossing with Christine Platt

Local Poet offers an Acrostic/Telestich poem about the Highland Crossing Trail

Exotic animals once lived next to the Highland Crossing Trail

Before and after the (disappointing) Déluge at the Highland Crossing

Tracking the prints of a deer on the Highland Crossing in Brighton

Following a gaggle of wild turkeys on the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton

The first December snowfall at the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton

First November snowfall at the Highland Crossing in Brighton

Distributing masks in Brighton and revisiting (again) the Highland Crossing Trail in (another) May snowfall

During a dusting of May snow, revisiting the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton

On the Highland Crossing Trail in Brighton after an early March snowfall

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


  1. David Kotok

    Nice to see stories like this. BTW next Saturday is March 27 [not 26]


      Thanks for noticing the error. See you there!


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