Heritage Wind seeks applications for community grant program

Posted 2 June 2022 at 3:53 pm

Press Release, Heritage Wind

BARRE – The Heritage Wind Community Grant Program is now accepting applications for its Summer 2022 grant cycle.

The program provided more than $10,000 during its last cycle, which supported local organizations working to build healthy communities, increase environmental sustainability, foster economic development, and promote education, including the following:

  • Community Action of Orleans and Genesee
  • Beds from Brian
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County
  • Lee-Whedon Memorial Library
  • Albion Betterment Committee
  • Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance (COVA)
  • Orleans County United Way

Local organizations working in the Town of Barre, and the broader Orleans County community are encouraged to apply. Grants are typically awarded in $250 to $4,000 increments, with priority given to proposals that demonstrate meaningful impacts to the greatest number of area residents.

We will be accepting applications until July 8. Please apply at

The four focus areas for the community grant program are:

  • Building Healthy Communities – Programs that support public health or enhance the quality of life in the community.
  • Economic Development – Programs that supports the economic wellbeing of the community.
  • Environmental Sustainability – Programs that support environmental revitalization, sustainability, or empower residents to be stewards of the environment.
  • Promoting Education – Programs that support educational institutions, especially the advancement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This may include curriculum development, vocational training, or literacy support.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Anna Mathes at or (585) 590-2254.

Huge oversize load heads down 98, 31A to Erie Canal in Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 May 2022 at 10:25 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – A caravan of vehicles started down Route 98 in Barre this morning, delivering a huge oversize load to the Erie Canal in Albion.

The large piece of equipment was manufactured by Graham Corp. in Batavia and will be used for the Navy.

The equipment will be put on a barge in the canal. An enormous crane is at the site just east of the Gaines Basin Road bridge.

Orleans County dispatchers warn to expect some delays and power outages while the caravan moves to its destination. It was going on Route 98 to Route 31A, then along Gaines Basin Road in Albion and then the last stretch is Albion-Eagle Harbor Road along the canal.

This company kept raising wires and traffic lights so the big load could pass through.

This group of escorts was out in front of the oversize load.

WNY Farms Company instrumental in turning swampy marsh into mucklands, Part 1

Posted 8 May 2022 at 8:33 am

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans, Vol. 2, No. 16

BARRE – The top photograph is not from an Antarctic expedition! The image from a glass negative shows a dredge excavating a main ditch on the swamp in 1913 for the Western New York Farms Company. Drainage was the first step in the formation of the mucklands.

“Wall Street goes a-Farming” was the title of an article in Popular Science Monthly, Spring 1917 which described the gigantic Oak Orchard Farm:

“an admirable example of what a great farm can be when conducted under the precise and systematic management of ‘Big Business.’”

A mere four years prior, the “great farm” was an overgrown swampy marsh, reclaimed by an ambitious drainage project. The “Wall Street” reference in the article’s title was to the Western New York Farms Company, with an address at 49 Wall Street, New York, NY which had been incorporated on March 9, 1911. The directors were Andrew A. Smith, 40 South Washington Square, NY; H.R. Tobey, 109 West 45th St., NY; and Morris K. Parker, New Cannan, Conn.

By 1913, the Farms Company had acquired large tracts of land in Barre and Clarendon.

The initial impetus for draining the swamp was health, not agriculture. Malaria had long been associated with swampy land. Drainage of the swamp for health reasons was first recommended by the State Supreme Court in 1903. In 1904, Commissioners Avery Danolds of Shelby, John Crowley of Medina and Joseph W. Holmes of Batavia recommended draining almost 25,000 acres of swamp. They estimated the cost of surveys and preliminary work at $5,000. This would be assessed to the six towns involved, the costs to be reimbursed by the property owners.

This proposal languished but was presented again in 1910, as a “public necessity” according to the Medina Daily Journal, August 15, 1910. Meanwhile, the agricultural value of the drained land attracted attention when several experts attested to its fertility and potential. Plans were finalized in 1910 when it was agreed that the project should continue and be paid for by the owners of the land which benefited by it. The work began in 1913.

There had been some local resistance to the project. A letter from a Clarendon Taxpayer published in the Democrat and Chronicle and the Orleans Republican on January 12, 1912, outlined many concerns regarding this “scheme of public exploitation for private gain…under the guise of public health.” The Clarendon Taxpayer asked:

Who would be responsible for maintaining the ditch?

What effect the massive drainage would have on the remaining timber?

What effect would the winds and the absence of moisture have on the climate, the orchards, and the crops of those who lived north and east of the area?

What effect would the drainage have on wells? If residents had to drill deeper, they ran the risk of encountering sulphur or salt which would render the well unusable?

The project proceeded on a large scale. It comprised some 9,000 acres in the Orleans County towns of Barre and Clarendon, as well as in Elba and Byron in Genesee County. In 1913, workmen operating huge dredging machines dug 21 miles of main canals and 20 miles of laterals located about 2,000 feet apart. To accommodate the runoff, a channel through the Oak Orchard Creek was enlarged and straightened. Sixty Adirondack lumberjacks felled timber. Underbrush was burned. Crews operating plows, harrows, cultivators, and seeders prepared the soil. The first crop of vegetables was harvested in 1915.

All of this activity was overseen by the Western New York Farms Company’s Double O Ranch, a large facility in Elba, which had its own machine and maintenance shops, evaporator, cannery, and accommodation for workers, some four thousand in all.

The Farms Co. began leasing sections of land to growers in 1916 at the rate of $50 per acre for the first year. This included assistance and machinery. Subsequently, the rent was $35 an acre but no assistance was provided. It also offered land for sale, in 5 acre lots, at $300 per acre. The terms were one quarter to be paid in cash and the remainder in four equal annual installments.

The company sold its holdings in 1927, at $573.50 per muck acre, with an annual maintenance fee of $10 per acre. Priority was given to existing tenants and mortgages were available at 6%.

The Western New York Farms Company “Wall Street” approach to agriculture introduced agribusiness methods to Orleans County – mechanization, large scale production, scientific approach, efficient management. Muck landowners formed the Genesee-Orleans Vegetable Growers Co-op Association in 1921. This group assisted with marketing, encouraged development, and espoused advocacy. The “Wall Street” legacy continued.

For additional information see:

Bank publication in 1934 highlighted Barre as gateway to mucklands

Posted 30 April 2022 at 9:14 pm

Barre Center Public School, Albion Midlander, 1934

By Catherine Cooper, Orleans County Historian

Illuminating Orleans, Vol. 2, No. 15

Enos Rice and George Culver, Barre residents. Albion Midlander, 1934

BARRE CENTER – Bank publications are not typically thought of as a source of local history – with the rare exception of the Albion Midlander, a monthly publication of the Orleans County Trust Company from 1933 – 1937. Each four-page issue contained photographs and short articles on a variety of Orleans County related topics, from Point Breeze to Barre, quail raising to racoon farming.

Banking and financial information was not neglected. The July 1933 issue contained an article on banking by mail which was promoted as a safe convenient way for people who lived in the country to handle their financial affairs. An article on check cashing noted that the use of checks had become commonplace as a medium for the everyday transfer of money and explained the procedures for processing out-of-town checks. The March 1934 issue included the annual statement of the Orleans County Trust Company, its total resources were $2,313,010.75.

The April 1934 issue featured Barre Center, which was described as the northern gateway to the fertile Genesee-Orleans mucklands. The most important factor in the early growth of “the Center” was the Oak Orchard Road, which was reserved by the Holland Land Company as a public road, four rods wide and which was initially the main travel route to Oak Orchard Harbor. Following the completion of the Erie Canal, it became the main route for the transportation of goods and produce to Albion.

A tract of land about a mile and a half south of Barre Center had been drained in the previous 25 years and this fertile soil produced lettuce, onions, potatoes, carrots, spinach and turnips which were shipped to Buffalo, Cleveland, Philadelphia and New York.

Barre Center had a population of 250. Business places in the village included:

  • Phillips & Son General Store,
  • Homer J. Dawley, General Store,
  • Orleans County Canning Company
  • John Benthin & Son Evaporator
  • S. Elton Miller Garage
  • Albion Oil Company Garage, Bruce Clapp mgr.

The article noted that many of the people and businesses in and about Barre Center used the banking facilities of the Orleans County Trust Company.

Barre Center Grange No. 1026.  Albion Midlander, 1934

Orleans County Canning Company, Barre. Albion Midlander, 1934.

Wendell Phillips, Barre Town Clerk (left) and Homer J. Dawley, Barre. Albion Midlander, 1934

Photograph of John Benthin & Son’s Evaporator, Barre. Albion Midlander, 1934

List of 84 veterans featured on banners in Barre

Photos by Tom Rivers: These banners on Route 98 near the former Barre Deli show Charles Partway Jr., who was in the Army from 1961 to 1962, and Chuck Prentice, who was in the Army from 1983 to 1991 and was deployed in Desert Storm.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 April 2022 at 9:30 am

These banners highlight Robert Hickman who served with the Navy during the Vietnam War and Albert Sabo, who was in the Army from 1945 to 1947.

BARRE – There are 84 banners of veterans from Barre now proudly displayed on utility poles along Route 98 in an effort coordinated by the Barre Betterment Committee.

The committee raised funding for the abnners and hardware. The veterans and their families didn’t need to pay to be included.

The Town Highway Department installed the banners last week. They stretch from West Barre Road to just past the town park.

The committee welcomes more names of local veterans, going back to the Civil War. To submit a name or for more information, send a message through the Barre Betterment Committee’s Facebook page.

Veterans featured on the banners include:

  • William Basinait, US Air Force – Vietnam
  • Charles Batchellor, Army – World War II
  • Donald Batchellor, Navy – World War II
  • Dorothy Batchellor, Army – World War II
  • George Batchellor, Army – World War II
  • John “Jack” Batchellor, Army – Vietnam
  • John K. Batchellor, Navy – World War II
  • Charles Beach, Army – 1950-53
  • Arthur Bennett, Army – World War II
  • Walter Bentley, Army – World War II
  • William Bias, Air Force – 1964-71
  • Kenneth Blank, Navy – 1976-79
  • Chad A. Brooks, Air Force – 2009 to current
  • Nicole Shiel Brooks, Coast Guard – 2008 to current
  • Craig C. Brown, Marines – 1991-1999
  • Scott Burnside, Marines – Gulf War & Iraq
  • Walter LaVerne Carr, Army – World War II
  • Charles Arthur Carr, Army – 1945
  • Ronald Carr, Army – Vietnam
  • Ralph Clute Jr., Navy – 1969-73
  • Steven Coville Jr., Army – Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia
  • Fred Daniels, Army – Vietnam
  • Edward C. Davis, Army – 1938-46
  • Paul Davis, Army – Korea
  • Dennis Drought Jr., Marines – Vietnam
  • James Drought, Army – World War II
  • Richard Engle, Army – Vietnam (killed in action)
  • William Ferris, Navy – World War II
  • Frank Fite, Air Force/Army – World War II/Korea
  • Daniel Fritz, Navy – Cold War
  • Carl Gavenda, Navy – World War II
  • Elizebeth (Gaylard) Marat, Air Force – Iraq
  • James Gaylard, Army – World War II
  • These banners on Route 98 near the Barre Town Park show Eugene Haines and Scott Burnside. Haines was in the Navy during the Korean War and Burnside was in the Marine Corps and Army, during the Gulf War and then Iraq.

    Peter Gaylard, Air Force – Kuwait

  • Paul Gaylord, Army – Korea
  • Harold Germeo Jr., Army – Vietnam
  • Harold Germeo Sr., Army – World War II
  • Eugene Haines, Navy – Korea
  • Laurence Hamilton, Army – World War II
  • Charles Hartway Jr., Army – 1961-62
  • Robert Hickman, Navy – Vietnam
  • John Hucknall, Army – 1966-68
  • Donald Joslyn, National Guard – 1958-64
  • James Keeler, Army – 1956-58
  • David Kelley, Air Force – Vietnam
  • John Kris, Army – Vietnam
  • Christopher Landis, Navy – Current
  • Al Long, Army – Vietnam
  • Herbert Lowman, Army
  • Christopher Markle, Air Force – Iraq 2003-04
  • Daniel Markle, Army – Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia
  • Lee Markle Sr., Army – 1966-68
  • Shannon Markle, Army – 1997-2000
  • Harold Miller, Army – World War II
  • Olin Miller, Army
  • Richard Frederick Miller, Navy – 1943-45
  • Steven Moore, Marines – 1980-84
  • Adam Mufford, Air Force – 1996-2016
  • Calvin Richard (Pete) Nesbitt, Navy – Korea
  • Charles Nesbitt, Army – Vietnam
  • Harold Nesbitt, Navy – World War II, Korea
  • Robert Nesbitt, Navy – World War II
  • David Newbould, Army – Korea
  • Donald Newbould, Army – Korea
  • Richard C. Newbould, Marines for 8 years
  • Richard H. Newbould, Army – 1952-54
  • Robert Newbould, Marines
  • Roger Newbould, Air Force – 1980-84
  • Scott Papponetti, Air Force – 1998-2018
  • Alvin Peglow, Army – World War II
  • Harold Perfitt, Navy – World War II
  • Charles (Chuck) Prentice Jr., Army – Desert Storm
  • Charles R. Prentice, Army – 1959-61
  • Thomas Prentice, Navy –Persian Gulf
  • Bob Preston, Army – Vietnam
  • Mathew Root, Army Ranger – Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia
  • Albert Sabo, Army – 1945-47
  • Arthur Spencer, National Guard – 1961-65
  • Robert Stirk, Army – 1955-57
  • John E. Swabb, Army – Korea
  • Clair Swan, Army – World War II
  • Earl Thiel, Army – Korea
  • Larie Vagg, Air Force – 1953-93
  • George Webster, Army – Korea
  • Steven Webster, Navy Seabees – 1973-77
  • Gerald Wells, Army – World War II
  • Elisha Wright Sr., Army – Civil War
  • Wilford Wraight, Navy

These “Hometown Heroes” includes Thomas Prentice who was deployed in the Persian Gulf and Charles R. Prentice who served in the Army from 1958 to 1960.

Barre puts up 84 banners of veterans to celebrate ‘Hometown Heroes’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 April 2022 at 11:30 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: This photo shows the banners on Route 98 near the Barre fire hall of James Gaylard, who served with the Army in World War II, and his grandson, Peter Gaylard, who was in the Air Force and deployed to Kuwait.

BARRE – There are 84 banners of veterans from Barre now proudly displayed on utility poles along Route 98.

The Town Highway Department installed the banners last week. They stretch from West Barre Road north, just past the town park.

The Barre Betterment Committee coordinated the effort and raised funding for the project. The veterans and their families didn’t need to pay for the banner.

The committee sought names of veterans from Barre, reaching out to the West Barre United Methodist Church, Barre Presbyterian Church, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and other word of mouth, said Cyndy VanLieshout.

The committee welcomes more names of local veterans, going back to the Civil War. To submit a name or for more information, send a message through the Barre Betterment Committee’s Facebook page.

VanLieshout said she is impressed with the effort so far, with nearly 100 veterans recognized in a town of about 700 homes. There is room on utility poles to include more banners, going all the way to Route 31A.

She said there were some veterans who didn’t want to be highlighted on a banner.

The portraits are expected to be displayed until just after Veterans’ Day in November.

VanLieshout said she was moved hearing about how so many Barre residents have sacrificed and served the country in the military.

“It felt good listening to peoples’ stories,” she said. “It tears at your heart. It was uplifting.”

She welcomes more people to be a part of the Barre Betterment Committee.

“We have a great town,” she said about Barre. “It’s a small-knit family.”

Barre homes ‘egged’ in fundraiser for Betterment Committee

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 March 2022 at 9:58 am

Provided photos

BAREE – Two homes in Barre today were egged in a fundraiser for the Barre Betterment Committee. Cyndy and Mike Van Lieshout, and Wes and Betsy Miller both awoke this morning to find signs with Easter eggs on them in their front yards.

The signs stay in the yards for two to four day unless those “egged” give a donation of at least $10 to the Betterment Committee. Or for at least $15 the signs will be removed and placed in someone else’s specified yard.

Proceeds go to raising funds to have electricity installed at the Barre Town Park on Route 98.

Founder’s Day celebration in Barre includes treasure quest at 5 locations

Posted 4 March 2022 at 8:49 pm

Press Release, Barre Betterment Committee

BARRE – The Town of Barre will be celebrating their 203rd birthday on March 6. The Barre Betterment Committee is presenting a “Founder’s Day Treasure Quest.”

The game will entail going to several locations and figuring out a clue to next location by putting a puzzle together. This is a way for everyone to be able to get involved without having a set event at a set location.

It should be fun for the whole family to drive around to the different locations and try to decipher the clues. The quest will begin on March 6 and end on March 13.

The Barre Betterment Committee has been active in the community of Barre since 2019 and have hosted numerous events including an annual Square-Dance, Trunk or Treat and the favorite Tractor Light Parade, although that event had to be canceled in 2021 due to hazardous weather conditions.

To find out more about the event or the committee, look for them on Facebook: Barre Betterment Committee.

The Barre Founder’s Day Treasure Quest – Are you ready to go on a journey? A journey around Barre? Well, let’s go!

The way this works:

  • You start at the first location from the clue below.
  • There you will find a box with a puzzle inside and a wooden token with a letter on it.
  • Put the puzzle together to find the clue for the next location.
  • Take one token from the box and keep until the end.
  • Go to the next location and repeat!

There are 5 locations including the final stop which will not have a puzzle but special instructions to complete the quest.

Good Luck! You have until March 13 to complete your quest!

Kids will need an adult with them as it will take driving around the town. If you get stuck or need help at all, contact us on the Barre Betterment Committee Facebook page.

First Clue: Go to the Flagpole which greets you at the drive of the baseball and square-dancing home.

5 roads closed in Orleans due to high waters, flooding

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 February 2022 at 1:51 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers

BARRE – The Town of Barre Highway Department has closed Hill Road, between West Barre and Gillette roads, due to flooding and highwaters today.

It is one of five roads in Orleans County closed due to the flooding from the melting snow and rainfall.

Other roads that are currently closed to traffic include Yates-Carlton Townline Road, between Kendrick Road and Route 18; Angling Road in Yates, between Mill and Marshall roads; Hulberton Road in Murray, between the canal and Philipps Road; and Baker Road in Carlton, between Kent and East Kent roads.

Local fire departments also have been called for 24 basement pumping details since 1 p.m. on Thursday, an Orleans County dispatcher said this afternoon.

State approves permit for wind turbine project in Barre

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 January 2022 at 9:47 am

BARRE – The State Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) has issued a siting permit for Heritage Wind to build 33 turbines in the Town of Barre that will have the capacity to generate 184.8 megawatts of electricity.

Houtan Moaveni, ORES executive director, issued the decision on Jan. 13.

The project will contribute approximately $54 million in host community benefits and payments in lieu of taxes to the Town of Barre, Orleans County, and local schools over the course of 25 years.

The turbines would have a maximum blade tip height of 675 feet, making them the largest land-based turbines in the state. Each turbine will be able to produce 5.6 megawatts of power.

The project also includes 12 miles of access roads, two permanent meteorological towers, approximately 36 miles of collection lines from the wind turbines to the collection substation, a temporary construction laydown yard of approximately 13 acres, an operations and maintenance facility consisting of two buildings totaling approximately 4,000 square feet, and other components.

Moaveni, the ORES director, said six turbines within 2 miles of Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area will be subject to greater scrutiny for avian impacts.

He cited the benefits of the project in providing $54 million to the local communities over 25 years and also contributing the state’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. The Barre project will offset up to 112,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Barre tractor parade cancelled due to high winds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2021 at 10:37 am

BARRE – The lighted tractor parade scheduled for 5:30 p.m. today in Barre has been cancelled due to the threat of high winds.

A high wind warning is in effect today from 1 to 11 p.m. with southwesterly winds from 35 to 45 miles per hour with gusts of 65 to 70 mph expected.

The Barre Betterment Committee has been planning the 4th Annual Lighted Tractor Parade. It can’t reschedule the event because the permit from the state DOT is for today.

Barre town meetings go virtual only due to Covid spread in community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 6 December 2021 at 9:21 am

BARRE – The Barre town meetings will be virtual only until further notice due to the community spread of Covid and the threat of a new variant for the virus, said Town Supervisor Sean Pogue.

The meetings won’t allow in-person attendance from the public, but they can still use the town’s YouTube channel or call in by phone to hear the meeting.

This includes Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings.

The Town Board has a workshop meeting today at 5 p.m. and regular board meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Planning Board meets the second Monday of the month.

To call in for the Town Board meetings, dial (585) 589-5100, enter 5 once the auto-attendant plays, with a pin of 4321 followed by #.

For the Planning Board meetings, call (585) 589-5100, then dial 402 when the auto-attendant answers followed by a pin of 6543 #.

For more information, click here to be directed to the town website.

Santa and Barre firefighters make holiday deliveries

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2021 at 12:19 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

BARRE – Santa Claus helps Jaxson Stefaniak, 3, unwrap a present of an Iron Man toy this morning as part of the Barre Volunteer Fire Company’s annual Santa Express.

Firefighters escorted Santa around town to visit 30 families and deliver presents.

Santa steps out of the fire truck to visit a family on Root Road. This is the seventh year the fire company has run the Santa Express.

People dropped off gift-wrapped presents at the firehall and those gifts are then delivered by firefighters and Santa.

Jaxson Stefaniak is excited to Santa standing on the family’s front lawn.

Jaxson and the other children also were given a chance to sit in the fire truck.

Firefighters say the Santa Express gives them a chance to see families for a good reason, rather than an emergency. It also helps children to meet the firefighters, who act as Santa’s elves today while delivering the gifts.

John Egloff, left, served as one of Santa’s elves and hands a gift to Gabe Rice, 6. Santa helped Gabe open the gift on the back of the fire truck.

Gabe Rice, 6, is happy to receive a toy train for a present.

The Barre firefighters split into two groups today while making their deliveries with Santa.

Heritage Wind announces community grant awards

Posted 30 November 2021 at 7:47 pm

Press Release, Heritage Wind/Apex Clean Energy

ALBION – In recognition of “Giving Tuesday,” Heritage Wind announced the latest round of grant awards from the Heritage Wind Community Grant Program.

The program, launched in 2020, supports community organizations throughout Orleans County working to build healthy communities, support economic development, foster environmental sustainability, and promote education.

“We are thankful that Orleans County is home to so many motivated individuals and innovative groups doing everything they can to support their community,” said Carmen O’Keefe, Development Manager with Apex Clean Energy. “We are proud to support their work and are committed to being a long-term partner to the Town of Barre and all of Orleans County.”

Counting this year’s recipients, the grant program has awarded nearly $50,000 to community causes and non-profit organizations since its inception.

Some of the grants announced today include $2,879 for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County, $1,554 for Orleans County Adult Learning Services, $1,245 for Beds from Brian Inc., $1,000 for Albion Betterment Committee and $600 for Lee-Whedon Memorial Library.

Beds from Brian is a non-profit organization that works with local partner agencies to ensure all children have a bed to call their own. A Heritage Wind community grant will provide enough funds to provide beds and bedding to five children in partnership with the Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern.

“We appreciate being the recipient of a Heritage Wind Community Grant. The generous amount will allow us to purchase new beds and bedding for children in Orleans County,” said Beds from Brian Founder and President Doreen LaFluer. “Thank you for helping us fulfil our Mission of ‘Comforting children with warm and cozy beds and bedding’ and for keeping our Vision of ‘For every child in our area to have a bed to call their own’ at the forefront of what we strive to do.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County will receive a grant to purchase new interactive educational displays to engage children at events such as the Orleans County Fair. Among a variety of agricultural-themed activities, the displays will also include a renewable energy puzzle game.

“We are incredible grateful for the support. Heritage Wind has allowed us to do some excellent educational activities in the past and has again supported that mission,” said Robert Batt, President of the Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension. “The proposed learning through play exhibit will provide families at the fair and other events a free, interactive experience that educates both about agriculture and is fun to do. We look forward to seeing people playing and learning together thanks to this funding.”

A grant to the Lee-Whedon Memorial Library will fund new discovery kits that can be borrowed from the library for use by children and families looking to explore nature, science, and the world around them. Library Director Kristine Mostyn thanked Apex Clean Energy for supporting the project, saying “Lee-Whedon Memorial Library greatly appreciates receiving this grant from Apex. We will be using the funds to create discovery kits, such as stargazing and geocaching, to be used around the community. The kits will benefit homeschoolers as well as anyone interested in nature or the sciences.”

Orleans County Adult Learning Services (OCALS) will receive a grant to help train and supply five new tutors for their digital literacy mentoring project. “The Orleans County Adult Learning Services Program is grateful and proud to receive this grant from Heritage Wind,” said OCALS Vice President and Treasurer Don Colquhoun. “It will be used to provide digital literacy services to County residents to enhance their skills and help them to become computer literate and connected to the power of the internet. It is a perfect complement to the tutoring services the agency has provided since 2006.”

The Orleans County United Way assisted OCALS with the grant application and is helping administer the funds.

“The Orleans County United Way is pleased by the generosity of Heritage Wind in helping OCALS with their request for equipment. We assisted in the grant application. These funds will help more community mentors assist their neighbors with Digital Literacy,” added Orleans County United Way Executive Director Dean Bellack. “The Orleans Digital Literacy Initiative has begun training Orleans County Residents and our goal is to have one on one training with 2000-3000 Orleans County residents to improve their skills.”

Other grants included a donation to the Albion Betterment Committee as part of their Charles W. Howard statue fundraising effort, and donations to Christ Church Community Kitchen, Community Action of Orleans and Genesee, and Central Orleans Volunteer Ambulance (COVA) in recognition of their consistent service and support to the community.

As the project approaches construction, Heritage Wind will continue its commitment to being a strong community partner to local governments, area businesses, and non-profits working to improve people’s lives across the region. To learn more about the program, or apply for a future round of grant funding, click here.