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Visit the NYS Birding Trail—All Regions Now Complete!

A group of African-American children walking on a boardwalk while birding

Just in time for fall migration, DEC announced the opening of the final three segments of the NYS Birding Trail. The Adirondacks-North Country, Catskills, and Southern Tier segments bring the total number of birding trail locations across the state to over 300, with a variety of parks and other public spaces for new and experienced birders to enjoy.

The Adirondacks-North Country segment includes 41 locations and offers unique opportunities including the chance to experience historic great camps and views of the Adirondack High Peaks while observing boreal species such as loons, boreal chickadees and the Canada jay. The Catskills segments includes 23 locations from Forest Preserve lands and iconic state parks to a national wildlife refuge and the popular Ashokan Rail Trail. The Southern Tier segment includes 34 locations and is full of breathtaking scenery from the deep forests of Allegany State Park to the gorges and towering rock formations of Watkins Glen State Park, Rock City, and McCarty Hill State Forests. Visit the NYS Birding Trail website to see a Google Map, find other birding trail resources, and more! Keep scrolling for more on fall bird migration

DEC Announces Large Scale Pilot Study to Control Phosphorous Impacts in Honeoye Lake  Virtual Public Information Session Scheduled for Sept. 27 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is holding a virtual public information session on Tuesday, Sept. 27, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to update residents on a research project to control phosphorous in Honeoye Lake in the town of Richmond, Ontario County. Phosphorous is a critical nutrient but excess concentrations can result in poor water quality.. 

For more information about HABs, including bloom notifications, which are updated daily through fall, visit DEC's Harmful Algal Blooms webpage. The HABs Program Guide (PDF), which includes information and links to resources regarding bloom prevention, management, and control, can also be downloaded from the DEC website. Visit DOH's website for DOH's public health information.

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation 
The Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) is now available at
Find Your Adventure - Visit the Completed NYS Birding Trail & Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month September 2022 (  For more information

What Can You Do About Spotted Lanternfly? Claim a Grid Square to Survey! 

Spotted lanternflies are out in full force, but luckily this year’s “Claim A Grid Square” survey effort is going strong. So far this summer, over 150 survey grid squares have been claimed by participants across the state, and over 850 spotted lanternfly not-detected reports have been submitted – great news! Learn more and join the effort at iMapInvasives website.

Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive insect that feeds on grapes, hops, maple trees, and other woody plants, posing a severe threat to NY natural resources. Visit the Department of Ag & Markets website for more info. SLF is not yet found in most of the state outside of NYC, but one potential pathway is SLF’s preferred host plant, tree-of-heaven (ToH), which is found in many locations across NY. We are seeking volunteers like you to look for SLF and ToH in your area a couple times throughout the year. You can help protect New York's agriculture and forests by knowing what to look for and how to report it to New York’s official invasive species database, iMapInvasives.

For More Information Go To:  iMapInvasives website. 

Press Release: August 19, 2022 

Funding From U.S. Treasury Department's State Small Business Credit Initiative Will Support Businesses Recovering from Economic Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic  
Includes Funding for Minority and Women Owned Small Businesses 

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced New York State has been awarded $501.5 million in federal funds through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which was reauthorized and expanded as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Managed by the U.S. Department of Treasury, SSBCI provides funds to support programs for small businesses, with emphasis on those still struggling from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and helping traditionally disadvantaged small businesses succeed in the post pandemic economy. 

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and far too many small business owners are still feeling the economic toll of the pandemic," Governor Hochul said. "This historic funding will be a game changer - serving as a crucial lifeline for small businesses, fueling innovative growth, and helping uplift the most vulnerable communities across New York State. I thank President Biden, Secretary Yellen, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Democrats in the New York Congressional delegation for their leadership on the American Rescue Plan and look forward to continuing to work together as we move the Empire State's economy forward."   

Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen said, "This is an historic investment in entrepreneurship, small business growth, and innovation through the American Rescue Plan that will help reduce barriers to capital access for traditionally underserved communities. I'm excited to see how SSBCI funds will promote equitable economic growth in New York and across the country." 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer said, "This historic $500 million federal investment is the shot in the arm New York's small businesses need to recover from the pandemic and rebuild our local economies. This federal assistance will help support underserved businesses, invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses in key industries like manufacturing and clean energy to address the nation's supply chain challenges, and create good-paying jobs in the communities that need them most. As majority leader, I fought to secure the State Small Business Credit Initiative federal investment as part of the American Rescue Plan to meet the unprecedented challenges faced by the nation's small businesses during the pandemic and I am proud to now deliver this federal funding for New York to build up the state's small businesses and manufacturing base to accelerate our recovery, and drive our economy into the future." 

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "I am so proud to have helped secure this historic federal funding for SSBCI in the American Rescue Plan. This funding will provide critical resources and increase access to capital for our state's small business owners. Fighting for New York's small businesses means fighting for a bright future and economic prosperity in our state."  

Representative Carolyn Maloney said, "Small businesses are the lifeblood of New York City, but unfortunately, they bore the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. I am thrilled that Congress could deliver the American Rescue Plan, which helped so many individuals and small businesses who were struggling throughout the City and State. Today, is a critical step in getting the funding from ARP into the pockets of those who need it most as The White House formally approves New York State's $501 million small business funding plan under the American Rescue's Plan's State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). I commend Governor Hochul for working swiftly with the President so that our small businesses in need can keep their doors open."

Representative Gregory Meeks said, "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. Governor Hochul's planned use of American Rescue Plan SSBCI funds recognizes the integral role small businesses play in their community's economic development in the post-pandemic economy. This will provide the necessary resources and support, especially for minority and women owned business, to overcome structural and institutional challenges to their continued growth."

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "New York was among the hardest hit by the devastating effects of COVID-19, and many of our state's small businesses are still trying to recover. SSBCI funding will go a long way to help these businesses, particularly those who face historic disadvantages, like MWBEs.  Through a mix of programs designed with businesses' needs in mind, ESD will ensure this critical support gets to those who deserve it most." 

Through Empire State Development, New York State is establishing a suite of programs that will match federal support to the critical needs of the state's small businesses. This programming includes a mix of new initiatives and the expansion of existing programs, focusing on capital access, loan guarantees, loan participation programs, collateral support, venture capital for fund managers and start-ups, and technical assistance. Proposed programs include: 

Capital Access Program: 
   $29.4 Million Capital Access Program (Expansion of Existing Program) - These programs provide portfolio insurance to lenders that make loans to small businesses to incentivize the expansion of loaning to these entities.  
Affordable Debt Programs: $106.1 Million Capital Loan Fund (New Program) - Provides long-term capital investments via debt instruments and credit structures. The eligible uses for these capital loans is highly flexible, with a focus on providing capital support to socially and economically disadvantaged businesses. 
$55.5 Million Small Business Revolving Loan Fund (Expansion of Existing Program) - This fund will address inequitable capital access, to address gaps facing new companies, underbanked communities, small businesses which are more likely to be minority-owned. 
  $47 Million New York Forward Loan Fund (Expansion of Existing Program) - A loan program funded with investors pooled capital, to make flexible, low interest loans to small businesses and nonprofit organizations, through participating Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lenders. 
 $22 Million Bonding Guarantee Program (Expansion of Existing Program) - Provides surety bonding to reduce risks associated with bonding for small businesses. 
 $22 Million Contractor Financing Revolving Loan Fund (New Program) - Provides needed funding to contractors in need of matching dollars to secure federal, state, and local contracts. 
Equitable Venture investments: 
$102 Million Emerging and Regional Partner Program Fund (New Program) - This program will support the growth and establishment of diverse, emerging, and regional private sector fund managers. 
 $52 Million Community and Regional Partner Program Fund (New Program) - ESD will provide selected accelerators with funds that will be leveraged with private dollars to invest in New York State start-up companies. 
  $30 Million Pre-seed and Seed Matching Fund Program (New Program) - ESD will work with angel groups and pre-seed investors across New York State to continue to support high growth start-up companies at the earliest stages of their growth and development. 
 $35 Million New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund (Expansion of Existing Program) - Since 2015, ESD has managed the New York Ventures fund, an investment program with more than 40 portfolio companies—65% of whom are founded or led by women and/or minorities. SSBCI funds would further capitalize this direct investment fund program. 

Over the next 90 days, Empire State Development will be establishing additional program criteria and guidelines, with formal program-specific application processes announced in the Fall.  For more information, please visit

Riverton Day, Sunday, July 17, 2022

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of America’s “planned communities”

The New York Museum of Transportation will commemorate the start of Riverton with a day of trolley rides, Sunday, July 17.

A half century ago, local work began on a revolutionary approach to suburban development and land use. “Riverton” was to include housing, commerce, and green space, all in a planned, self-governing community. The concept was based on the success of Reston, Virginia and was one of several proposals around the country supported by loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The economy of the 1970s impeded Riverton development and eventually forced it into bankruptcy, although many homes were built and today comprise a prosperous residential part of the Town of Henrietta.

The Riverton plan included antique trolley cars circulating through the town, but finding authentic cars proved difficult. However, in June 1972 Hurricane Agnes forced a Pennsylvania museum to close, and several Rochester related trolley cars became available there. Those cars were brought to our area and became the nucleus of the collection at the New York Museum of Transportation.

Growing from that small initial collection, the museum now contains trolley cars, a steam locomotive, highway and horse drawn vehicles, model railroads and the Midtown Plaza Monorail.

The museum's 2-mile round-trip trolley ride is a unique recreation of the interurban trolley era of a century ago. Rides depart at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30, and no reservations are needed.

The family-friendly admission, including the trolley ride, is only $10 adults, $9 seniors age 65+, and $6 youths age 3 – 12.

The New York Museum of Transportation is open Sundays only, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located at 6393 East River Road, just 20 minutes from downtown Rochester and easily reached from Exit 11 off I-390.

(585) 533-1113 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monroe County has launched a survey on access to the Internet. Results will be used to ensure high-speed internet accessibility for all residents. “Nearly one-fifth of city households and one-third of rural households do not have access to high speed internet,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said in a news release. “In the year 2022, that is unacceptable."  The survey is designed to identify barriers that prevent access to affordable high-speed internet, and locations where Internet access is not available. The data collected will help the county structure a plan to rectify deficiencies.  “In return, better access to high speed broadband also will attract new businesses to our region, drive economic growth, support education and strengthen our community,” Bello said.

The survey is the result of a collaborationof the county’s Broadband Advisory Task Force and Magellan Advisors.

Paper copies of the survey are available at county libraries.  However, county leaders recommend residents complete the survey online from a laptop or desktop commuter that is connected to their home or business router. That will enable a speed test to be performed and help identify areas where high-speed connectivity is an issue.   If a smartphone is the only means of accessing the internet, officials ask that residents connect to Wi-Fi and not cellular data, and that the survey be taken during the peak internet usage period of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The survey is on

“High speed internet is important in bridging the digital divide,” said Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar, who serves on the broadband task force. “Students from the lower end of the economic spectrum, especially in the city of Rochester, are often further disadvantaged because of the lack of access to high quality internet.”

   pdf Rush Clean Up Arbor Day 2022 Report  
2022 was another great year for our community's annual clean-up event as part of our 15 Day of Spring and celebration of Arbor Day.  The report is filled with great pictures and review of the many activities. 

Posted on: May 6, 2022

Town of Rush

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program

The Town of Rush is planning to join the Monroe Community Power renewable energy program. This community choice aggregation (CCA) program would enable the Town of Rush to provide residents and small businesses with the benefits of renewable electricity supply.

Formed in partnership with Joule Community Power, a division of Joule Assets, Inc., Monroe Community Power is a community choice aggregation (CCA) program that enables participating communities to pool local electricity demand in order to leverage the collective buying power of their residents and small businesses in an effort to secure more favorable terms on their energy supply, protect consumers, and choose renewable generation sources.

The Town of Rush is planning to join an upcoming bid for a CCA electricity supply rate for an expected program launch date in January 2023. If the Town of Rush selects an electric supplier, eligible residents and businesses will receive a letter in fall 2022 with information about the program, their choices and info about how to opt-out.

Public information sessions are scheduled for Wednesday, June 8th at the normal scheduled Town Board Meeting that will be both in-person and via Zoom; and Thursday, July 7th at 7 PM at an in-person session in the Town Pavilion. These sessions will provide general information, explain the benefits of participation by our residents and small businesses, and answer your questions.

For more information about the Monroe Community Power program, please visit www.monroecommunitypower.comabout:blankabout:blank, call the helpline at (585) 244-0244 or email the Local Organizer, Roctricity, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Providing Today, Protecting Tomorrow
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE……………………..…December 27, 2021
TO: Media of Greater Rochester Area
CONTACT: Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District
RE: 2022 Conservation Tree & Shrub Program
QUESTIONS: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 585-753-7380 for details
Plant Native This Spring
Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District Launches
2022 Conservation Tree & Shrub Program
It’s time to do your part in helping local conservation! The Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District has released their spring 2022 species list for their annual Conservation Tree & Shrub program. For 46 years, the District has hosted this successful program, with over 17,650 native and naturalized trees and shrubs being distributed to landowners last year alone!
With almost 40 different species including hardwoods, bare-root conifers, shrubs, wildflowers, and variety packs, The District is doing their part is making our communities green. Don’t miss out on getting your species – be sure to pre-order them, along with other products great for conservation projects including bat and bluebird houses, seed mixes, and more!
The District added 6 new trees and shrubs, 2 new conservation packs, 1 herbaceous flowering plant and 1 new mix to one of our best-selling conservation packs! Our new items are all showy, beautiful trees and shrubs, sure to liven up your yard and attract a variety of wildlife! All native, these species produce wildlife-attracting fruit and flowers, provide quite the fall scenery with their stunning foliage, and can be used for various home projects like furniture. Some of these new species include White Cedar (Arborvitae), Paper Birch, American Cranberry, and Red Osier Dogwood. By planting these native plants you can increase wildlife habitat, provide a windbreak, reduce erosion, reduce stormwater runoff, do your part in being climate resilient, and help create habitat for pollinators! Check out all the benefits of these and our other selections by visiting our website catalog (link included below).
The Conservation Tree & Shrub Program is a pre-order program with a deadline for ordering on March 4, 2022. We have a limited availability for plant stock so in order to ensure we can meet your needs, please order early! We offer mail-in, email, and online ordering. The distribution of the plant material will occur at the Monroe County ecopark on April 21-22, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. We will also hold a first come, first serve overstock sale on April 23, 2022 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. where you can come in and purchase trees without having to preorder.
Please note that many of our tree species come as young, small rooted clumps – we do not sell full grown trees. Once planted the small seedlings should take to the soil and grow leaves once spring arrives. This year, three of the conifers we are offering are transplants, meaning they are stronger and more mature when you plant them!
Those interested in this program can find the order form and our full color catalog on the District’s website: If you have any questions or you’d like a form sent to you, contact the Monroe County Soil & Water Conservation District at: (585) 753-7380, Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District
145 Paul Road, Bldg. 5, Rochester, NY 14624
Phone: (585) 753-7380  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A copy of the Press Release:  pdf Monroe County Soil and Water Tree program News Release 2022

October 12, 2021

A Public Information Meeting on Improving Access to Public Water was held on October 6.  The goal of the meeting was to introduce Rush residents who do not have public water, and want it, what the steps and estimated cost could be to create a water district.  

Link to the Water Forum:

This is the "Audio Only" version of the Water Forum:

An update letter to residents hat includes answers to some of the questions that have been asked is being developed and will be sent out soon.  

For more information, please call the Town Supervisor, Gerry Kusse, at 585-533-9058.  



Monday, October 11, 2021 at 11 AM the William Udicious Town Hall Pavilion, 1900 Rush-Scottsville Road, Rush, NY 14543

More details on the flyer:   pdf Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration Flyer

Everyone is welcome to be a part of Indigenous People’s Day in the Town of Rush   Highlights of the event include: 

Michael Oberg is a distinguished Professor of History at SUNY-Geneseo and director of the Geneseo Center for Local and Municipal History and a member of the Geneseo faculty since 1998. Professor Oberg's research interests are in Native American studies. Professor Oberg is at work on a history of the Onondaga Nation, from the time of the formation of the Iroquois League to the present.▪

ProclamationRush Town Supervisor Gerald Kusse will read the Proclamation.▪

Richard Hamell, Rush resident, will share his personal interest in the concerns of the history and reproduction of wampum belts originally created by the First Nation, particularly the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). He retired from Monroe Community College after a career of 39 years with the Department of Geosciences.Masks are required to be worn and social distancing maintained, inside and outside.