OpenValley is a spatially defined project—roughly, the Genesee Valley watershed—whose name derives from one of several translations of the Seneca word rendered as “Genesee” or “Geneseo”: “beautiful valley,” “shining clear opening,” “pleasant open valley.” Its goal is to facilitate original research by undergraduates utilizing archival materials, local fieldwork, and digital tools. In revisiting local history a specifically bioregional perspective has been adopted; that is, what Peter Berg has called a process of active reinhabitation—and doing so “in an area that has been disrupted and injured through past exploitation.” In adopting this perspective we hope to avoid simple nostalgia and the uncritical celebration of local history, seeking instead to fabricate a past that can speak to contemporary environmental issues.
Thus far, work has grown out of Milne Library's Wadsworth Family Papers and from its 70-year collection of diaries written by a Springwater, NY farmer named Sheffield Peabody. Students have partnered with the Livingston County Historical Society Museum to create an ecology-themed exhibit, and with the John L. Wehle Art Gallery at Genesee Country Village for an exhibit upon angling—and specifically the fish culturist Seth Green. In fall of 2015 students began an experimental project that utilizes digital mapping applications for the purposes of bioregional history.
As with any collaborative undertaking there are many people whose contributions are here gratefully recognized.
Students: Conrad Baker, Kristin Biela, Trevor Burke, Brendan Caputi, Jakob Dickerson, Zoraida Dooley, Corinne Enright, Kyle Freeman, Ashley Gibson, Nicole Hong, Theresa Johnson, Brendan Morse, Andrew Nauffts, Melissa Paravati, Isaac Park, Kyle Parnell, Victoria Salazar, Jacob Sikora, Katrina Suhr, Justine Talbot, Connor Valvo, Emily VanScooter, Samantha Vell, Kayla Vialva, Eric Wegman [Fall 2014]; Atheeqa Aijaz, Ashley Chamberlain, Amy Chan, Noah Chauvin, Alyssa Cole, Alexis Donahue, Jessica Doyen, Marisa Drpich, Jennifer Faes, William Foley, Rebecca Gates, Devon Gawley, Samantha Grabher, Brodie Guinan, Jessica Lolakas, Michelle Nitto, Elyssa Slawinski, Haley Smith, Gregory Stewart, Courtney Yonce [Spring 2015]; Mary Auld, Noah Chauvin, Kristen Druse, Kevin Feeley, Jeremy Jackson, Danielle Kahn, Jordan Keane, Natalie Kelsey, Matthew Viglucci, Megan Wong [Fall 2015]; Atheeqa Aijaz, Kate Berdan, Anthony Bettina, Stephanie Carelli, Danielle Comerford, Gil Cruz, Carly Daniels, Sean Delles, Ariana DiPreta, Marisa Drpich, Ian Duffee, Christina Faubert, William Foley, Gabriella Garcia, Connor Hillman, Rebecca Leville, Shayna Nenni, Eva Pellegrino, Ben Ranalli, Jessica Rounding, Victoria Savallo, Kate Schulz, Caroline Seche, Valerie Sigl, Austin Stappenbeck, Clarissa Swain, Kelsey Teglash, Courtney Yonce [Spring 2016].
Community Members: Aimee Alden (Livingston County Historian), Maureen Kingston (Avon Town Historan), Betty Knoblock, Anna Kowalchuk (Livingston County Historical Society Museum), Patricia Tice (John L. Wehle Gallery of Art).
Academic and Staff Suport: Kirk Anne, Kate Berdan, Regina Carra, Joseph Easterley, Colleen Garrity, Corey Ha, Kristina Hannam, Leah Root.
Co-Facilitators: Elizabeth Argentieri, Ken Cooper.