John Geib lives on Dann Road, not far from Dann Lake Park. The park is a hidden gem of sorts in the Town of Amherst. It doesn't have any signs, no easy way to walk to the lake and, for those reasons, not many people even know it's there.
"My problems 'poof'. That's why I come back here," explains Geib. "Just clear my mind. Be at nature."
He calls the park "his backyard".
But, lately, Geib has been finding more and more garbage left behind in the small parking lot.
"It's like nobody really cares," he said. "It's a shame that they're doing this. No respect for nature or nothing."
He sometimes picks up the different trash and broken glass he finds while visiting the park. But he hopes it can someday be so much more.
"A lot of parks are nice," Geib said. "But there's houses and cars and traffic everywhere. This is an escape."
It's his escape.
But he wants everyone to know about it. That's why he's excited about the plans to redevelop the park and make it more visitor friendly.
The town plans to build a boardwalk leading to the water, add a canoe and kayak launch and pave the parking lot. But, none of that has happened yet. The sign stationed at the front entrance still sits blank.
The town is still waiting to get permits from NYS DEC and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to move forward with the project. Those plans are still very much in place, according to town officials. Construction is expected to start in the spring or summer of 2018.
As for the litter, the Amherst Highway Department is responsible for maintaining town parks. But, since Dann Lake Park is undeveloped, it isn't one of the locations that gets regular visits. If a lot of trash is found at Dann Lake, the Highway Department asks you to call them so they can send workers over to clean up.