The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value.  Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment.

Landowners must apply through the local town assessor for an agricultural assessment. Further Information on Agricultural Districts can be found here, contact information for local assessors can be found here.

Do you qualify? Find out by visiting the Soil Group page, there you can find more information about the program and will be able to download a brochure. You may also call our office at 315-946-7200

Kraai Preserve – woodlands and the stream corridor along the Ganargua Creek, photo credit Trail Works

In keeping with the season’s theme of gratitude, why not start a new tradition? Build some lasting memories by going outside with family and friends for a “Walk in the Woods” on Thanksgiving day.  The fresh fall air along with a trail hike has restorative and stress-relieving power. The joys of nature are the simplest form of gratitude.  Plus, one hour of hiking burns between 430 and 460 calories. Paint a memorable family rock and hide it in the woods and find it again, year after year. Remember to bring the camera.  For added fun, consider an outdoor treasure hunting activity using GPS-enabled devices. There are hundreds of geocaching locations right here in Wayne County. Geocaching is an outdoor activity, where participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” at specific locations marked by coordinates. Pick up a trail passport from the Trailworks at any public library, Wegmans, or visit for Geocaching trails at various locations around Wayne County.

So go ahead – take the dog with you and start a new Thanksgiving tradition, just remember, we’re still in a pandemic so please practice good social distancing, even outside.

The District office will be closed on November 26 and 27th in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


Reprinted Courtesy Xerces Society

Leave the Leaves to Benefit Wildlife

It’s Fall! The garden produce is harvested, and leaves are changing color and tumbling from the trees—and that means fall cleanup in the yard and garden.

For many people fall cleanup means cutting all the seed heads and stems off the flowers and raking up all of the leaves. A tidy garden and yard are what many people strive to achieve. Everything clipped back, leaves raked and removed, messy piles of branches put in the green bin for pick up. This tidiness may look nice to us, but it is not good for all of the small creatures that live in and around your property.

Out of sight often means out of mind for people and fall is a time when you do not see the bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects that were flitting around your flowers all summer. Where do these insects go when they are not visiting your garden? Some do migrate—like the monarch butterfly, flying south to overwinter in trees in Mexico or along the California coast—but the vast majority spend their entire life in and around your property. Many of our native solitary bees have laid eggs and provisioned nests in soil or in standing dead trees or hollowed-out branches where the young are pupating. Bumblebee queens have found areas to overwinter under branches, in rock walls, and in other relatively dry, snug places.

Many species rely on fallen leaves for cover and to insulate them from the elements. Depending on the species, butterflies and moths spend the winter as eggs, caterpillars, pupae, or adults. Great spangled fritillary and wooly bear caterpillars tuck themselves into a pile of leaves for protection from cold weather and predators. Red-banded hairstreaks lay their eggs on fallen oak leaves, which become the first food of the caterpillars when they emerge. Luna moths and swallowtail butterflies disguise their cocoons and chrysalis as dried leaves, blending in with the “real” leaves. There are many such examples.

Beyond butterflies, bumble bees also rely on leaf litter for protection. At the end of summer, mated queen bumble bees burrow only an inch or two into the earth to hibernate for winter. An extra thick layer of leaves is welcome protection from the elements. There are so many animals that live in leaves: spiders, snails, worms, beetles, millipedes, mites, and more—that support the chipmunks, turtles, birds, and amphibians that rely on these insects for food.

Leave the leaves does not mean ignoring them and leaving them where they fell. You can move them to places in your yard where they are out of the way, will not kill your turf, and will still help wildlife. A thin layer of leaves can actually help turf—but too much will kill the grass. Consider raking leaves into areas around trees, or use them as winter mulch for perennials or to cover garden beds. Leaving a thick layer of leaves in garden beds helps minimize weed problems early in the spring and can be a great soil amendment.


This article is an abbreviated version of an article posted by Scott Hoffman Black of the Xerces Society, to read the full article click here.

Photo Credit: Genesee Land Trust – Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve

Join the Trailworks for a Black Friday hike at the Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve in Macedon, NY. The Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve is 56 acres of adjacent land along Ganargua Creek. The trail is managed by Genesee Land Trust in partnership with Macedon Trails. Trails on both east and west sides of Ganargua Creek accessed from three trailheads. Both trail systems offer easy, level walking through meadows following a steep hill descent. West Sides Trails: From the West Side trailhead off Bunker Hill Dr., follow a forested trail down a hill, to a circular trail around the meadow on the west side of Ganargua Creek (1-mile, total). For a level hike, begin at the Wilkinson Road parking area. A 0.3-mile spur takes you through Wayne ARC property, adjacent to Genesee Land Trust’s preserve. This trail joins with the West Side Trail loop. East Side Trail: The East Side Trail takes you on a 0.8-mile walk with two loops that wind their way around two meadows along the east side of the creek.

WHEN: Friday, November 27th
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
WHERE: Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve, Macedon, NY
meet up at the roadside entrance on Bunker Hill Dr./Victor Rd./Wilkinson Rd. Macedon
PASSPORT MARKER: at the base of Bunker Hill, when coming in from the west side

The Genesee Land Trust has several walks planned for Wayne County and surrounding areas. It’s a chance for a casual hike outdoors in the fresh air surrounded by the beautiful colors of fall. Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing and even improve focus. Spending time in nature, looking at plants, water, birds and other aspects of nature gives the cognitive portion of our brain a break, allowing us to focus better and renew our ability to be patient.

Each walk is limited to fifteen people so pre-registration is required.

Genesee Land Trust “Habitat Management Walk” at Macyville Woods, Sodus Point

More information and Registration.

  • Macyville Woods Nature Preserve
    7474 Seaman Street
    Sodus Point, NY, 14555

Genesee Land Trust “Opt Outside Walk” in Macedon

More information and Registration.

The Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve is made up of an upland area of hardwoods, wildflowers, and shrubs, the winding Ganargua Creek crossing a broad floodplain, and an open meadow where food and cover for birds and other animals are abundant.

  • Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve
    886 Bunker Hill Dr
    Macedon, NY, 14502

NYS DEC’s new spotted lanternfly look-alikes poster

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a pesky invasive pest that feeds on lots of important New York plants, such as apple trees and hops vines. With the recent finding of spotted lanternfly (SLF) on Staten Island, it’s never been more important for people to be on the lookout for this invasive insect. Since SLF spreads primarily through human activity, we really can make a difference.

A spotted lanternfly egg mass on the left, next to a gypsy moth egg mass on the right (Photo credit: Emelie Swackhamer, Penn State Extension)

When you’re keeping a watchful eye, know that SLF can be confused with other common insects you might spot flying around this fall. This time of year, the eastern boxelder bug or even gypsy moth eggs may catch your eye. The NYS DEC SLF poster is here to help, with photos of SLF as well as some common look-alikes.

The eastern boxelder bug has black and red markings similar to those of an invasive spotted lanternfly nymph, but the elongated body and red eyes of the eastern boxelder bug help set it apart from SLF. You might find eastern boxelder bugs lounging in sunny spots or even in your home but not to worry – unlike spotted lanternfly they’re harmless.

With high rates of gypsy moth infestation in New York this year, you’re more likely to see their eggs than SLF eggs but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the lookout. If you find an egg mass remember, spotted lanternfly eggs look a bit like mud that has dried and cracked. You can find SLF eggs just about anywhere including on firewood, trees, or even cars. Gypsy moth eggs, on the other hand, are lighter in color and fuzzy in texture. You’ll spot gypsy moth eggs on trees, firewood, or piles of rocks, but not on household items like SLF egg masses

Everyone can help protect New York?s agriculture by keeping an eye out for spotted lanternfly. Be sure to download the new NYS DEC’s SLF poster to help your friends and family know what to look for. If you believe you’ve seen the invasive spotted lanternfly, please send a photo and the location to

aem-logoThe District is also offering to gather the samples from the fields for the farmer/landowner as well as taking care of the shipping, handling, and paperwork involved. A qualified Technician will review the results of the sample with the farmer/landowner if requested.

1. Choose your Soil Testing Service (Click here for the order form)

2. Download and complete an AEM Tier I worksheet.

3. Call 315-946-7200 to schedule a visit so we can take a soil sample.

While every farmer takes pride in stewardship, there are often many components that are difficult to manage on a regular basis such as soil health testing. Soil health management is a key component to the environment, economic and ethics management while working for crops of the various commodities. Whether the farm is fruit, vegetable or field crop, soil health monitoring every three years or so gives an opportunity to assess actual soil needs. This assessment gives a clear picture on what investment planning needs to be done for long term health planning. It is like retirement planning for soil. The longer more sustainable the soil health is, the longer more sustainable your crop will be.

By implementing an Agriculture Environmental Management (AEM): Soil Health plan, every farm has an opportunity to understand the actual needs and begin to implement various practices that can assist in building carbon matter for benefits on annual yields and potential manage inputs of starter, herb/pesticides and side dressing.



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