November 7, 2013
Updated Dec 16, 2013 at 5:39 PM EDT
Cheektowaga, N.Y. (WKBW) - Mike Gettings has been coming to Reinstein Woods for years.
“I bring my granddaughter and she is five. When I bring her here, she is an inquisitive person to begin with, but to see her here and her eyes light up and see other kids do the same thing,” Gettings said.
He loved it so much he wanted to give back and became a volunteer. Gettings said it is a calm in all the hustle and bustle of life.
“It's a hidden gem because it’s located in an urban area. You can hear the planes and trains which is all part of our civilization but at the same time you see birds and deer and other different animals,” Gettings said.
Director of the Educational Center Meaghan Boice-Green said it is just minutes from downtown Buffalo.
“Reinstein Woods is about 300 acres of forest and wetland located right here in Cheektowaga. We are very close to Buffalo, about nine miles from downtown. It's a great place for people to get away from city living,” Boice-Green said.
They have education programs from school field trips with tours of the trails, nature play area and an indoor educational center. They also train teachers in nature lessons so they can take what they learned back to their school and their students.
“We have some special programs that introduce kids from under served neighborhoods to nature. It gets them outside and interested. It gets them into all that nature has to offer,” Boice-Green said.
Although this is a state run park, they need extra funds and they are asking for the community to step in. Karen Smith is the Chairperson for the Friends of Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve.
“We are having a fundraiser called Nature's Gathering an Evening of Art Wine and Cheese. It will feature 30 local artists. The funds that we raise from this go to support educational programs here at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve,” Smith said.
Gettings said It is a place where his granddaughter can have a blast while also learning a lot about the outdoors...
“That's the fun part the excitement and inquisitiveness that my granddaugther has and the other kids have,” Gettings said.