Imagine a father and son standing on a wintry hillside more than thirty years ago. They watch in silence as a group of deer pass through the forest not more than fifteen yards from them, then travel down the hillside, traverse a stream, clamber up the opposite hillside, and disappear into the forest. The man and boy remain silent as they walk through stands of tall, green pine trees to return to their car. The boy in the story is Mike Incrovaia and that memory is from just one of the many trips Mike and his family made to the hilltop just outside of Ellicottville. Growing up, Mike’s dream was to spend as much time as he could with his family in the same pristine area; enjoying the forest, streams, wildlife, and views. Now he is creating a new dream of building houses that will allow the owners to create the same kind of connection to the land as organic as his own.
Mike feels genuinely blessed that he now owns the area that formed so many of his boyhood memories. But rather than fencing off the property and building himself a starter castle as a monument to his success; he has chosen to share this special place with others. He is subdividing the land into five acre parcels and building only single home on each lot. The passion Mike feels for the area is evident in the attention to detail he is giving to every aspect of the development. He used a GPS unit to lay out the lot lines and nature trails connecting them. Just steps from each home the nature trails connect to fishing ponds and shelters built specifically for family picnics. Mike even laid out the lots himself, personally choosing which trees should be cleared for the building pad, and to expose the views. Of the few Pole Pine and Locust trees cleared, they were used to create the rough hewed fence that borders the site.
Story and Photos By John Thomas
See the full article (PDF).