Why We Are Here: Earth Force’s long standing partnership with General Motors prompted the GREEN program’s establishment in Honeoye Falls.
Honeoye Falls is a small village situated in the most southeastern corner of Monroe County, about thirteen miles from the City of Rochester. It is located on the falls of Honeoye Creek and lies within the town of Mendon. According to the US Census Bureau, the village has a total area of approximately 2.6 square miles.
From the Seneca Indians who settled in this area to the pioneer days and current population, Honeoye Falls, originally known as Norton Mills, has maintained a civic minded atmosphere.
Honeoye Falls Village was founded in 1791 around a grist mill and later a saw mill at the waterfall on Honeoye Creek. The fertile land in the area and adequate water supply allowed for the production of good grain crops. Production was so abundant, with the clearing of the land, it became necessary to enlarge the milling facilities in order to properly handle the grinding of the grain that poured into the mill.
Since this time, the village has remained a community-minded and growing area with both connections to the rural countryside and the Rochester metropolitan area. The environmental issues within this area include development pressure on surrounding wildlife and farms. With the population of the metropolitan Rochester area going down, and the amount of urban sprawl going up, the pressure on agricultural areas to develop also becomes an issue for watersheds like Honeoye Creek. Careful planning will continue to be important to prevent negative impacts of expanding infrastructure and impervious surfaces that can increase runoff and intrusion into animal habitats. Efforts to preserve the rural character of the area include a 717 acre New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Management Area within the watershed.
The GM Honeoye Falls Fuel Cell Activities Center is working to help address these types of issues by joining the GREEN program as a good neighbor in this community. This new program will work to address water quality concerns and explore new environmentally focused careers with students in the STEM disciplines. RIT’s undergraduate program in Environmental Sustainability Health & Safety (ESHS) is also partnering in this effort. ESHS prepares students for careers using STEM skills to help corporations and communities become more sustainable and green.
Demographics: Honeoye Falls School District - 15% of all students served are receiving free/reduced lunch
11.3% of families were below poverty level throughout Honeoye Falls.
According to the 2010 American Community Survey, the racial composition of Honeoye Falls was:
• White: 96.3%
• Black or African American: .7%
• Native American: 0.2%
• Asian: .6%
• Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.00%
• Some other race: 0.4%
• Two or more races: 1.7%
• Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 1.8%
Source: American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Honeoye Falls, New York - ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2010". Factfinder.census.gov. link. Retrieved 2012.
What We Are Doing: We are working to establish new partnerships with Rochester Institute of Technology through their student co-op program. GM has funded this program for the 2011-2012 school year, and we began working with the Honeoye-Falls Lima High School in the spring of 2012. Students presented their water quality and project ideas to community members, including the mayor and the school district superintendent.
Earth Force History in this Community: 2011-2012 was the first year we worked in this community.
Number of Youth: 22
Number of Educators: 1
Participating Partners: Rochester Institute of Technology - http://www.rit.edu/programs/environmental-sustainability-health-and-safety
General Motors – www.gm.com
Participating School Districts: Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District - http://www.hflcsd.org/