Spring cleaning and kite flying at Brighton Town Park

Spring cleaning and kite flying at Brighton Town Park

Family enjoying kite flying at Brighton Town Park [Photos: David Kramer 3/30/21]

Over the last several weeks, Christine Platt has organized Saturday morning cleanups on the trails of Brighton.  The first two were at the Highland Crossing Trail.

(l-r) 3/21/21 Christine Platt from Illegal and unethical dumping next to abandoned farm at the Highland Crossing with Christine Platt; Brighton cadets of the Girl Scouts Troop 60124 working towards their silver badge, troop mom, Norah McCormick, see Community in action, Part I: Sprucing up the Highland Crossing Trail

The next iteration is at Brighton Town Park on Saturday April 3rd at 9:30 a.m. For any additional info, contact Christine at [email protected] [See photos from the cleanup at end]

The park is well maintained, but nonetheless, especially in the wooded trail area, people negligently dumped their trash.


Actually, there is a history of cleaning and improving the park. In 1993, Carol Ritter reported on a beautifying project; in 1994 Paul Salmon built bat houses.

(l-r) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 4/23/93 SPEAKING OF spring (and how many times have you zipped that raincoat liner in and out in the past couple of weeks? I’m up to about six): Volunteers are needed to help beautify the Brighton Town Park, 777 Westfall Road, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Show up in work clothes, tote along a rake or shovel and dig in. You 11 get refreshments and tree seedlings for your own yard. ; 2/16/94 Paul Salmon of Troop 77. Project: Built bat houses to improve the insect problem in Brighton Town Park. Sponsor: First Baptist Church of Brighton.

We’ve been to Brighton Town Park many times over the years: a coed-softball game, a youth football practice, a music academy outing, twice to the Kids Fishing Derby and on Election Day 2020.

(l-r) Lyndsey and Brett after game 2 of coed softball quadruple header from The difference between guys and girls in coed softball at Brighton Town Park; recovering fumble practice at the ROC City Steelers summer camp from New Team in Town: Roc City Steelers debut at Buckland Park; throwing coconuts at The Rochester Academy of Music & Arts annual family picnic from How do you make it to Carnegie Hall? Go to the Rochester Academy of Music Arts!

(l-r) Mark Kritall (right) helping Vinay Pendra from  You are never too old at the Kid’s Fishing Derby in Brighton; Noam Ernan’s catch, deck of the Carmen Clark Lodge Park from Kids Fishing Derby at Brighton Town Park. And a fish story.; 5:57 a.m. on November 3rd, 2020 from On Election Day morning, Bill Pruitt offers “Abating the Wave Machine”

(l-r) This lonely sojourning cross country skier at BTP describes his trek as a “meditative trance.” While mostly clearing his mind, the sojourner does ponder, “Where is the North Pole?” from Before and after the (disappointing) Déluge at the Highland Crossing;  Brighton Town Park was established in 1981; Where the Highland Crossing Trail reaches Brighton Town Park from Before and after the (disappointing) Déluge at the Highland Crossing

Especially on the first warm and sunny day of spring, the park earns its reputation as one of the jewels of Brighton. 


At lunchtime and in the afternoon, people flock to fish in the pond and walk and bike on the paved path, often stopping at the shelter or on benches and picnic tables.


(left) a family of swimming fowls (foreground) and a family of fishing humans (background) seek sustenance from the pond; (right) these humans risk getting wet. 3/30/21

On the path, the full range of humanity — like Chaucer’s pilgrims in The Canterbury Tales are found: lovers hand in hand, parents chasing young children, retirees for whom time today doesn’t matter, congregants from the Islamic Center next door, wearing traditional garb and sometimes carrying rough hewn walking sticks, naturalists with jostling birding binoculars around their necks, stopping to identify every possible variety of wildflower and cattail. Speed bikers in spandex zip past me the slowpoke on their way to the Canal Path and beyond.

One ubiquitous type are the workers at the adjacent office parks and the UR medical center who drift out of their cubicles for a half hour’s respite. In the past, they might first stop by the gazebo to commune with their fellow exiled smokers, but now that furtive pleasure seems to be denied. CLOSED

3/31/30 The pandemic — if the reason for the closure — is especially harsh on exiled smokers

I followed one man whose semi-distracted countenance and unrelaxed gait is all too common.

3/30/21 (l-r) Where the path connects to the Canal Path, worker in background; alone with his thoughts while clutching mask, cell phone and appointment book; passed by slowpoke retirees without a care in the world.

He and the others walk the path ostensibly to disengage bodies from screens and clear brains of digital clutter.  But, all too often, you see them struggling to keep their devices, heavy in their hands, at bay. Trying to be zen if only before the hour is up. Usually fretting prevails: the tick tock in their minds ever a reminder that they must soon turn back.


As this is Rochester, the landscape of Brighton Town Park can change in a moment. The Saturday forecast is for ample sun.

1:45 p.m. An April Fool’s Day flurry

3:59 and 4:02 p.m.

UPDATE: 4/3/21 The cleanup was a great success.

4/3/21 [Photos: David Kramer] (top, l-r) Eli, Mark and Miles Blazey; group; Craig Jensen (middle, l-r) Amanda Wong-Jensen (shadow, David Kramer); Katy Kuczek, Amanda Wong-Jensen, Lulua and Ammina Kothari; Craig and Teja Jensen (bottom, l-r) Craig Jensen; Lulua and Ammina Kothari; Miles and Meghan Blazey

(top, l-r) Debris in the cans, David Kramer and filled bags [Photos: Ammina Kothari and David Kramer]; (bottom) Like King Arthur and Excalibur, the Sword in the Stone, David Kramer and Christine Platt removing steel with their bare hands [Photos: Christine Platt and David Kramer]


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

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

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.


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