Turning Point Park: an ecological jewel looks to the future

 Photography by George Payne

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The Boardwalk at Turning Point Park

Known as the “Wilderness in the City”, Turning Point Park is located in Charlotte on Rochester’s northwest side. The park covers 275 wooded acres along the banks of the Genesee River and is right around the bend from Lake Ontario. As one of the most ecologically diverse marine bio-habitats in the region, it is no surprise how fast this urban sanctuary has become one of Rochester’s least best kept secrets.

 

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Red Rock Falls

 

The park boasts osprey, herons, egrets, mallards, geese, swans, kingfishers, gulls, and many other birds. There are deer, rabbit, fox, ferrets, moles, beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, snakes, salamanders, snapping turtles and painted turtles, frogs and toads, dragonflies and butterflies, and a million other splendid critters that will never be seen by the naked eye.

 

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The Famous Snapping Turtle

 

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Working the Genesee

 

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Creek to Red Rock Falls

 

About the two falls at Turning Point Park

Size/Types: Red Falls is a seasonal cascade riddled with large rocks and downed trees (as well as some garbage). It starts its 60 ft journey from a culvert under the railroad tracks and flows down a layer of red sandstone part of the way.
Brown Falls, is in a heavily wooded area in the southern end of the park, about halfway down into the gorge. It is a 35 ft high seasonal cascade.

Best time to visit: In winter or spring; after heavy rain or snow-melt.

Flow: Low.

Waterway: Unnamed seasonal tributaries into the Genesee River, which empties into Lake Ontario 2 miles to the north.

Time: Thirty minutes to an hour. Carefully scrambling to the bottom of each waterfall will take quite some time.
Seasons/Hours: Open year-round, from dawn until dusk.

Admission: Free.

Handicap accessibility: The paved portions of the Riverway Trail and from the parking lot to a lovely view of the gorge are accessible. Beyond that are steep gradients and irregular dirt trails.

Pets: Allowed if on a leash. For your pet’s safety, and the safety of other hikers, keep your pet on the leash. It doesn’t matter if your dog is “friendly,” it’s the law. Please clean up after.

Accommodations: Trails; informational signage; fishing access from the wooden docks.

See nyfalls.com

 

 

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Red Rock Falls

 

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Creativity abounds

 

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A state of the art eco-design

Green Changes for Turning Point Park

 

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Education about watersheds and water quality

 

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An award winning achievement in engineering.

 

Turning Point’s boardwalk and trail won the American Public Works Associations’ “Transportation Project of the Year” Award ($2-$10 million category) in 2008. The trail consists of 3 main parts: 1) the 2,968 ft land-based trail that utilized an old railroad bed to transition from the top of the bank to the river’s edge, 2) a 3,572 ft-long bridge over the Genesee River Turning Basin, and 3) an all-new land-based trail, 3,406 feet in length, through Turning Point Park North and adjacent to the Genesee Marina.

City Website

 

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View from the former rail line

A history of Rochester’s Railroads

Turning Point Park also features a gorgeous Rain Garden, an eco-friendly way to use natural vegetation as sediment filters. When it rains or snows, flowing sediments and pollutants from the nearby parking lot are captured by the garden’s vegetation. The water-loving plants act as filters and clean the runoff before it reaches the river. The rain garden is stocked with a wide variety of hardy plants that aid in the process, from ostrich fern and filipendula to coneflower and New England aster.

Learn more about how the Turning Point Rain Garden  works.

City Website

 

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Rain Garden
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On the Scene at this Summer’s Annual Sacred Texts and Human Contexts Conference at Nazareth College

For three days in May, over 60 scholars from around the globe attended an annual symposium sponsored by Nazareth College’s Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue and the Department of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY.

Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in World Religions

Held at pristine Nazareth College, the Sacred Texts and Human Contexts conference focused on the topic of world religions and their perspectives on the environment.

 

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According to the Center’s website, “The industrial revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries, abuse of power and human greed, and continuing population explosion in many countries have all contributed to an environmental crisis that threatens the sustainability of life on planet earth as we know it. Our reliance on fossil fuels, our creation of immense quantities of waste products, and our destruction of natural resources to fuel our consumer economies have led to global warming, a reduction in biodiversity and a serious threat to long-term environmental sustainability. This environmental catastrophe challenges religious communities to respond out of the wisdom of their traditions.”

 

 

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As one of the invited photographers I had the rare opportunity to document as much of the three day event as possible. This meant that I could bounce between different rooms or stay put for an entire session. I had the chance to photograph and film attendees, presenters, and some of the world’s finest religious scholars up close and personal.

In doing so, I tried my best to capture the spirit of curiosity, friendliness, and expertise that pervaded this gathering. From my vantage point behind the optical nerve center of my computer’s flip jacket, it was truly beautiful to witness so many gifted minds working on the most pressing problems of our age. After-all, if we can not figure out how to love ourselves, each other, and the planet, then we are all doomed. That said, kudos to all of the organizations who came together to make this historic convention possible.

 

* My camera was stolen one day before the conference. Although far from ideal, I was happy to have my tablet handy for the job. 

 

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Group shot at the end

Why Rochester, New York

  • As the Rochester area moves from one kind of manufacturing to another, and as the educational and agricultural sectors continue to thrive in Western New York, interest in environmental preservation and the development of sustainable practices has increased.

  • The rich traditions of care and reverence for the earth of the Haudenosaunee peoples continue to affect attitudes here.

  • After long public debate, the State of New York has chosen not to pursue hydraulic fracturing technology for resource extraction, at least until there is definitive proof that our rich water resources will not be threatened.

  • The depth and long duration of interfaith activity in the Rochester area, along with our concerns for the earth, provide many local resources that will enrich the conference deliberations.

Visit the Hickey Center’s Website

 

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The Hickey Center Team

 

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Beautiful Souls

 

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Skype worked!

 

 

 

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Pacho Lane, a filmmaker and cultural studies expert.

 

 

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The Schedule

 

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Catherine Keller,  undoubtedly one of the world’s most creative and prolific theologians.

 

 

 

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David Kramer, the mastermind behind Talker of the Town,  hanging out with a new scholar friend from Saudi Arabia.

 

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What would religion be without music?

 

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Robin Dettman, religious educator, Hickey  Center supporter and two time Broken Spear Vision guest

 

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 Muhammad Shafiq, director of Hickey Center on right

 

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A presentation on the Tree of Knowledge

 

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Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Bridge in Rochester, NY. The Flower City is also one of the major epicenters for interfaith work in North America. The Hickey Center has lead the charge but countless others have taken the lead.

 

 

Downtown Rochester

 

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“Wings of Progress”
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Mercury Rising

 

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Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Bridge

 

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The Gannett Building

 

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War Memorial

 

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Kind of Blue

 

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Tracks on Exchange Street

 

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Mirror on the Wall

 

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The Underbelly

 

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Subway Art

 

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More subway art

 

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The Imperial Eagle

 

 

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Central Library

 

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Rochester

 

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The Race

 

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September 29

Evening Jaunt Through Ellison

Ellison Park has the beauty of natural woodlands combined with steep slopes and the level flood plain of the Irondequoit Creek. It is one of Rochester’s most frequented but little understood parks.

History

Officially the first Monroe County Park, Ellison Park came into being in December of 1926. The county accepted approximately 200 acres of land from Mr. and Mrs. Frank T. Ellison in memory of Mr. Ellison’s father, Nathaniel. Ellison Park has been the hub of many historical events and locations. Indian Landing which was located on Irondequoit Creek, for many years was used by the indigenous Seneca as the beginning of the portage route which stretched along Ellison Park.

The Lost City of Tryon, originally founded in hopes of creating a commercial settlement, used the Irondequoit Creek for trade. A store was built that bartered with the Seneca Indians, beginning its trading roots.

http://www2.monroecounty.gov/parks-ellison.php

 

All photographs by George Payne

 

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Fly Kites, Not Drones: a montage from the front lines of the international anti-drone movement

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Photo taken at vigil for victims of drone in Syracuse, NY

 

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Preliminary discussion between protestors and law enforcement
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Speeches by ;local anti-drone activists

 

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Federal, Military, State, City and County law enforcement attend

 

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Listen to the Broken Spear Vision every Sunday at 12:30 pm on 106. 3 FM

 

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Broken Spear Vision Interview with Judy Bello

 

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Political Theater at Hancock Airbase

 

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Vigil for Drone Victims in Syracuse, NY

 

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“A Timeless Voice”.  Photograph by George Payne taken outside the Lebanese Embassy in Washington.

 

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Drones are bad for all living creatures.

 

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Lines of Defense
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Sounds like a good idea to me

 

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Die-in at Hancock Airbase in Dewitt.

 

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George Payne

 

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Photo taken at the People Climate March in NYC on September 21, 2014

Abandoned Farm: A Gallery of Photographs by George Payne

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.

Wendell Berry Podcast

 

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Main House
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The Trailer

 

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Milkweed

 

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Tools

 

 

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The Hitch

 

 

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The Three Trees by the Road

 

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 Coyotes

 

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The Cobblestone Remains

There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places. My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts. – Wendell Berry

The Art of Protest

Photography by George Payne

 

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Alliance for Quality Education Rally at Albany State Capital

 

 

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Climate Change March

 

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Budding Photojournalists

 

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Hillary Clinton Primary Speech at MCC

 

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Climate Change March

 

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Animal Rights Protest at Brighton 12 Corners

 

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Anti Ringling Brothers Protest at Blue Cross Arena

 

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Climate Change March

 

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People’s Climate Change March in NYC

 

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Anti-Drone Vigil in Syracuse

 

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Anti-Drone Vigil in Syracuse

 

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Climate Change March

 

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Animal Rights Vigil at Brighton 12 Corners

 

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Anti-Drone Rally at Hancock Air Base

 

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Fight for $15 Rally at University of Rochester

 

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Michael Brown Supporter in St. Louis

 

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Civil Resistance at Ferguson Police Station

 

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Anti-Drone Rally at Hancock Air Base

 

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Anti-Drone Rally at Hancock Air Base

 

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George Payne at a rally in St. Louis

Ferguson As I Saw It

All Photographs Taken by George Payne

October 10-12, 2014

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Protestors outside the Ferguson Police Station

 

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The Line

 

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Civil Resistance

 

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Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

 

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Dred Scot’s St. Louis

 

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Battle Cry

 

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Dr. West in Action

 

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George Payne

 

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More Than Book Knowledge

 

 

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Sabbath

 

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Meeting Grounds

 

 

Flower City Street Art

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

                                                                                            Pablo Picasso

 

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St. Paul Blvd

 

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Record Archive

 

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Sibley Building

 

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Washington Square Park

 

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Lower Falls Park

 

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Mt. Hope Cemetery

 

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Nazareth College

 

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Highland Bowl

 

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Maplewood Rose Garden

 

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Finger Lakes Community College

 

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Hungerford Building

 

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University of Rochester River Campus

 

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Poet’s Garden in Highland Park

 

 

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On the Genesee Riverway Trail in the Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood

 

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Salvador Dali in the ABVI Building on South Clinton

 

 

 

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Finger Lakes Community College

 

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Eastman Theater on Gibbs Street

 

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Susan B. Anthony Historic Preservation District

 

 

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University of Rochester River Campus

 

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Genesee Valley Park

 

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Eastman Theater on Gibbs Street