David Dunning: Town Supervisor, Outdoorsman

David Dunning is probably one of the most well-known figures in our humble town, but how many people know David as a outdoorsman? I have a feeling that only a handful of Chili’s citizens are aware that David is an experienced hunter, a denizen of the woods, and a passionate advocate for our community’s open spaces. Yes, David is responsible for ensuring that our town runs smoothly day after day, but the experiences that he has gleaned from the outdoors strengthens his ability as a leader, and broadens his perspective of the value of open space in a community. Check out my recently published article about David under “wetlands”, “voices”, and “governance.”

Saving Place, one essay at a time

For those of you interested in a detailed look at the concept of open place, and what factors are eroding our relationship with the land, check out an essay I published under the ‘discussion’ tab. In this piece, I focus on the multitude of perspectives that define open place in Chili, what the greatest threats are to open place, and what we must do to become better stewards of our cherished fields, farms, and forests. Don’t let these places disappear. If you are concerned, or at least interested, this article may be for you!

Just a piece of advice — print this article out to make it an easier read.

So, what does the Audubon Society do?

You know, besides watching our feathered friends all of the time. After talking to June Summers, the current president of the Genesee Valley Audubon chapter, I discovered that Audubon is an advocate for every member of our ecosystems, and they make sure that the voice of nature is heard in Albany and Washington! Learn more about June’s role in Audubon, as well as her perspective on our open places!

All the best,



Take a paddle with Charlie Helman!

Not too many people are familiar with the sedulous waters of the Black Creek; except Charlie. I had the opportunity to paddle with this insightful man, gleaning his perception of our local watersheds and their recreational value. I doubt anyone else knows the Black Creek as well as Charlie, which may be one reason to read this article! You can find it under the ‘wetlands’ tab.

All the best,


Doug Larson: Avid bow hunter, passionate preservationist

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Doug Larson, an active hunter in the Genesee Land Trust’s Brookdale Preserve, as well as the Steward for the preserve. His insights touch upon the inherent dichotomy of his devotions: harvesting, yet protecting. I was deeply impressed with his perspective on bow hunting, inspiring me to pick up a bow, and hopefully soon, hunt. I hope you will feel the same. To find his article, scroll over ‘wetlands’, drop down to ‘use and recreation,’ then down to ‘hunting’.

Life through the lens

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Nigel P. Kent, freelance photographer for the Genesee Land Trust, Finger Lakes Land Trust, and other regional conservation organizations. Aside from exploring 57 different countries, Nigel has explored western New York in great depth, capturing his discoveries through the lens. I guarantee a breathtaking experience. Scroll to wetlands, then to use and recreation, then down to photography.

All the Best,


A splash of color

I am starting to compile a rough guide to Chili’s endemic bird species. These are birds that I have found and observed in our local wetlands, thus it is a working list, filled with my own personal observations and a few pertinent characteristics provided by good friend, David Allen Sibley. Scroll to wetlands, and you will find this section under “ecology.” I hope you enjoy it. And remember, please share your own birding experiences; this is a communal effort!

All the best,


Got Venison?

John Dailey, a citizen of the Town of Chili, appreciates wetlands differently than most people do — they’re dinner. He does not eat ‘wetlands’ fromĀ an ecosystem perspective, but he certainly likes a few members of the ecosystem. Read about John Dailey and his interactions with our wetlands resources by scrolling over wetlands, then down to recreation, then to hunting. Enjoy!

All the best,


The Open Space Index is Complete!

It’s official folks! The Town of Chili has completed an Open Space Inventory, a comprehensive study of all the open spaces in the town, which includes vacant lots between houses to farm fields to forests and wetlands. The inventory process has taken a good part of two years, and in my opinion, it was worth it! The final edition of the inventory is quite impressive, giving a detailed perspective of Chili’s open space resources as well projections for the future of particular open areas. I am quite intrigued by the GIS generated maps, personally. The Open Space Inventory is the initial step for drafting an Open Space Masterplan, slated to be accomplished in the next few years. A draft of the Open Space Inventory can be downloaded off the Town’s website. It’s a good read!

Oh, I apologize for the lack of regular updates, I just returned from Kenya. It is a bit difficult to manage a blog in Africa! Expect new material soon! A big thanks to those who have been keeping tabs on my work!

Town Historian, Bonnie Moore, is preserving the voice of history!

Bonnie Moore, Chili’s Town historian, has taken on the task of interviewing individuals in our town who have witnessed the rapid evolution of our people and open places. There are two videos posted right now, Harold Ford and Bill Craw. I have interviewed these two individuals already (I wrote about Harold), but the videos we allow you to appreciate their personalities! Enjoy!



In addition, if you have any ideas or suggestions for this site, feel free to post them! This is a community-wide asset!