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DeWitt Rotary, town rededicate Butternut Creek Nature Area

DeWitt Rotarians and local officials gather around a new bench at the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Area that the Rotary Club dedicated in memory of former Parks and Recreation Director Kim Ball. Pictured from left are: DeWitt Superintendent of Parks Dale Longden, DeWitt Rotary President Sue Reisman, Rotarian Don Burns, DeWitt Director of Operations and Sustainability Mike Moracco, Rotarian and County Legislator Linda Ervin and DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko.

DeWitt Rotarians and local officials gather around a new bench at the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Area that the Rotary Club dedicated in memory of former Parks and Recreation Director Kim Ball. Pictured from left are: DeWitt Superintendent of Parks Dale Longden, DeWitt Rotary President Sue Reisman, Rotarian Don Burns, DeWitt Director of Operations and Sustainability Mike Moracco, Rotarian and County Legislator Linda Ervin and DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko. Photo by Ned Campbell.

— DeWitt Rotary Club members and local officials gathered Monday, Oct. 15, to rededicate the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Area, located off Kinne Road between Butternut Drive and Cedar Bay Road.

Fourteen benches were recently installed along the nature trail along with two tables. Six of the benches are sponsored, and the DeWitt Rotary Club is seeking sponsorships for 30 benches in total.

The DeWitt Rotary Club has committed more than $50,000 in support of the Butternut Creek project. The first bench you see when entering the trail is sponsored by the DeWitt Rotary Club in memory of Kim Ball, the former DeWitt Parks and Recreation director who spearheaded the development of the trail. She died April 12, 2009, after a battle with cancer.

“This is a testimony to the work that Kim put into the town for over 20 years,” said DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko. “She was a champion of these types of projects, and I think this is just a wonderful statement to her memory. This project lives on.”

The nature area includes 67.5-acre of land and .7 miles of relatively flat, paved pathway meant for biking, inline skating, jogging and walking. Michalenko said the town hopes to expand the trail — which currently stops at the DeWitt Wegmans parking lot — all the way to Jamesville, and into the northern portion of the town as well.

“The idea is to get the trail system in place and then establish a system of pearls along the string, and that would be different types of parks,” Michalenko said. He said those parks could include anything from a nature center to a ball field.

The DeWitt Rotary Club has committed more than $50,000 in support of the Butternut Creek project. Sponsorships can be made in the amount of $15,000, $2,500, $1,000 and $100. Contributions are tax deductible. For information on becoming a sponsor, call Mike Moracco at 446-9250 ext. 9.

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