The Maguire gift to us all...
Rather than see her land get chopped up by haphazard development, Eleanor Maguire Diamond did the extraordinary. After careful consideration, Eleanor donated her land to Genesee Land Trust to honor her family's heritage and to ensure that other families have a chance to experience the land much like her family has.
"We played on it, we worked on it...we loved it!" explained Eleanor. When she and her siblings were young it was a typical small farm in the Town of Ontario of about 46 acres with orchards, pastures and worked fields. First owned by her grandparents, Philip and Elizabeth Warren, it has been in the family for 125 years.
Located within two miles of Lake Ontario, Eleanor can tell you about quiet nights listening to birds, or working in the fields. With time, this land could have become another subdivision, but Eleanor was determined that it should be there for wildlife and for everyone to enjoy. "I wanted to do something that honors my family's long history to this place," explains Eleanor, continuing, "this new wildlife sanctuary is in honor of the three generations of Maguires who worked and loved it, my grandparents, my parents and my brothers and sisters."
Today, as is the case across much of New York, the property has grown up into woods and shrubby tangles, to become an oasis of habitat for wildlife in the midst of subdivisions and working farmland. Crossed by Bear Creek as it flows to Lake Ontario with its adjacent floodplain and wetlands, the property provides a mix of habitats that are critical for wildlife in our region.
Over the next several years, the land trust will be working to improve public access to a number of other conservation areas in the region. During this time, we will also be working to secure funds for the Maguire property so we can build trails, a small parking area, and manage the land for both recreational uses and wildlife. We also plan on hosting free programs throughout the year for both children and adults. It's going to be a great place to see birds, listen to the wind in the trees, and spend time playing in the stream.
This special place will allow you and your friends and family to see migratory birds as well as nesting places for the resident scarlet tanagers, song sparrows, Baltimore orioles and bald eagles.
As Eleanor said, "It was important to me that the wildlife always have a home, a place where people could appreciate them and be inspired by them. My life had such joy, because of this property—now is my chance to give that joy to others."
Thank you, Eleanor for this great gift to our community and to local wildlife and migrating birds. It's a gift of a lifetime.
The Maguire Family Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to: Philip Mark and Elizabeth Kelly Warren; Patrick Joseph and Margaret Eleanor Maguire; and their children: Rosemary Maguire Hoffman, Anna Elizabeth Maguire, Loretto Ursula Maguire, Philip Warren Maguire and Margaret Eleanor Maguire Diamond.