Members of the Manlius Greenspace Coalition were elated to hear the Manlius Village Board designate the area known as "Three Falls Woods" off Route 173 in Manlius as a Critical Environmental Area. The board passed the measure at its June 26 meeting. The move comes after years of petitioning by the MGC, which has fought to keep local builder and landowner William Camperlino from getting approval to build a housing subdivision on the land.
The MGC has made the case that there are many geological consequences to building on karst topography -- land that sits on layers of rock where sinkholes, caves and underground drainages often underlie the surface. The coalition also aims to protect Manlius's section of the Onondaga Escarpment, a seven-mile-long wooded corridor stretching through parts of Manlius, Jamesville and DeWitt, and urges the neighboring municipalities to do the same.
The CEA designation was given in the form of a new local law entitled "Designation of a Critical Environmental Area -- The Onondaga Escarpment Nature Corridor." The designation does not necessarily prevent developers from building on the land, but requires that they get additional approval from the State Environmental Quality Review, a part of the state department of environmental conservation.
Gazebo Park project
The board discussed a project proposed by the Spade and Trowel Club, a local non-profit gardening group, which would involve building a brick walkway and planting flowers around the gazebo in Gazebo Park in front of St. Anne's church on Route 173 in the village of Manlius.
The Spade and Trowel club has been responsible for maintaining Gazebo Park, which was built in 1810 and was the original center of the village. It is the site of the club's annual plant sale, whose profits have been put toward this project. The village board had previously agreed to put $7,000 towards the project, and moved to continue investigating whether or not the Department of Public Works had the time and resources to manage the project before beginning.