A Petition to Complete the Work at the Pittsford Village Arboretum

Map of the Pittsford Village Arboretum


Background: Woodlands, a critical part of our regional ecosystem, face increasing threats and need priority attention. The wooded sections of the Robert C. Corby Arboretum and Wildlife Sanctuary have a synergistic relationship with the adjacent Erie Canal Nature Preserve. The health of the Preserve’s wetlands depends on a minimum 500-foot wooded buffer and wildlife habitat that the Arboretum provides from nearby residential and commercial properties.

In July of 2020, the Pittsford Village Board declared that the northern undeveloped ten acres of 1 Village Lane (the Village Department of Public Works property) shall be permanently protected greenspace recognized by the State of NY and available for the enjoyment of the public. The Village Board”s action complies both with overwhelming (80% in the 2018 village wide resident survey) public support for protecting this area as well as recommendations of the award winning 2020 Village Comprehensive Plan.

In February of 2021, the Pittsford Village Board approved a resolution to designate this parkland as an arboretum highlighting native trees, shrubs, and plants, to serve as a teaching tool about our native Southern Great Lakes mixed deciduous forest ecosystem and as a model on invasive species management to restore a disturbed landscape. The Board further resolved that the arboretum will be developed incrementally with annual planting to ensure that the cost to Village taxpayers is modest.

In March of 2021, the Village Board approved the first annual planting of 130 native trees, 90 native shrubs and overseeding of the meadow area with native plants. The Board also authorized the removal of gravel piles and invasive ailanthus trees. Because all the work was forestry as defined by the New York State Department of Conservation, no State Environmental Quality Review was required.

WE, THE CITIZENS OF PITTSFORD, request/expect/insist/demand (circle one) the Village of Pittsford to renew collaborative work with the Town of Pittsford to ensure the preservation of jointly owned wetland parcels, both unique natural resource areas.

WE, THE CITIZENS OF PITTSFORD, request/expect/insist/demand (circle one) that plans for any development or changes in the Village Arboretum comply with the original vision as approved by the Village Board in 2021.

WE, THE CITIZENS OF PITTSFORD, regarding the Robert C. Corby Arboretum and Wildlife Sanctuary request/expect/insist/demand (circle one) that

  • so-called “safety issues” be clearly and promptly stated publicly and addressed so that our land can be reopened for public use no later than the beginning of summer (June 21) of 2022; see maps on other side.
  • the illegal use of designated park land for municipal use by the DPW in violation of public trust doctrine be corrected, again by June 2022;
  • the Village DPW clean up, organize and confine their use to the significant empty space that remains in the Village land, and/or purchase land from the Canal Corp if they can justify the need for more property.
  • sufficient funds for proper maintenance and development of the property be allocated;
  • the original plan for overseeding with milkweed and other native plants be completed, and that the trees planted in 2021 and illegally removed be replaced immediately;
  • the management and removal of the Japanese knotweed, phragmites, garlic mustard and other invasive plants using best practices will be continued.