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Hansen Aggregates donates land for Jamesville nature park

Thanks to Hansen Aggregates, residents of the town of DeWitt will soon be able to enjoy a new public park. Fiddlers Green, set to open sometime in 2008, will be built on 11 acres donated to the town by Hansen. The park was dedicated on June 13.

"In a sense Fiddlers Green Park is Jamesville's "back to the future," said Gerald Aloi, executive director of FPGA. "This park will reclaim a piece of our history at a place where our predecessor's enjoyed family life."

In the 1800s, it was common for visitors to frequent the same area -- to enjoy a day in the country by Butternut Creek for picnics, fishing and general recreation.

Long-time Jamesville resident Bob Reals said his family has lived in the area for more than 200 years. He remembers going to the "crick" as a child, and recalls spending most of his summers barefoot in the park.

"By giving [the land] to the park association, we hope it creates a great atmosphere going back in history," said Dan Mehan, general manager of Hansen Aggregates New York Inc. "Hanson does take great pride in doing this. We don't do it very often."

Hansen Aggregates, headquartered in London, acquired the Jamesville Quarry, which sits in the towns of DeWitt and LaFayette, in 1992. The company is the United States' third largest producer of aggregate -- broken stone, gravel and sand used in road construction.

The newly acquired parcel is located between North Street and Solvay Road in the hamlet of Jamesville.

While the town now owns the land, it is up to the Fiddlers Green Park Association to push the project forward through fundraising, park initiatives, development and sustainability of community spaces.

"The intention is to keep [the park] as natural as possible," Aloi said. "There's not going to be any enclosed structures. There may be pavilions, picnic tables, things of that sort, but it's going to be kept in its natural state."

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