Our region...the counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Erie ... is a very special place! This is an exceptional area, because of the people here and with the region's magnificent rolling hills, expansive beautiful valleys, elegant lake plains, exceptional recreational areas, and majestic farm lands. This area stands out as a wonderland of nature and opportunity. With our four seasons of the year, there is something very special about each and every season... be it summer, fall, winter and spring. The following poem, which I have written, is a poetic expression which depicts several aspects of the exceptional nature of just one specific area...and there are many other wonderful areas... within this western New York region. I dedicate this poem to those who appreciate and enjoy this graceful and friendly region we call "our home."


Between the bountiful hillsides
With meadows and trees all sublime,
There is a valley with splendorous texture
And a running creek flowing in prime.

The hills are arrayed with choice splendor
Whatever season or time of the year,
They dress with colorful adornment
Giving to many, an abundance of cheer.

Here is where the Amish trail arrow points southward
With a bountiful picturesque so serene;
Pristine farms and woodlands of beauty
What a natural and spectacular scene.

The gleaming water of the creek flows like crystals
Over rocks and glimmering shoals;
They are the water from the beautiful hillsides
Into Cattaraugus Creek with rippling unfolds.

The valley between the lush-filled hillsides
Is a precious sight…truly to behold;
With people, tree lined streets, and colored gardens
A precious sight and a joy to unfold.

There is the Hollywood Theatre standing so proudly
Being renovated to the state of the art;
And Academy Place with pride and with firmness
Meeting the needs of the people who take heart.

There are the places where people assemble
And gather to shop and to converse;
After a bit, with time moving forward
Each group goes on their way to disperse.

There are men and women busily doing
The things that need to be done...
Working, shopping. and caring for others
And doing everything else under the sun.

There is the hustle and bustle of children
Going to school, or to the park and giving cheer
They are caring and helpful to others
And from others, they receive a smile with a tear.

There are volunteers and helpful first responders
Who willingly give of their time;
There are businesses, professionals and so many others
Who thoughtfully share their talents sublime.

This is the valley…between the bountiful hillsides
Where thoughtful people work and reside
It us a remarkable and friendly little village
GOWANDA is its name…and we say it with pride.

---Poem by Robert L. Heichberger