Deer Haven Park is revving up for a busy summer season, but now is a good time to go

ROMULUS — Deer Haven Park, set on a portion of the former Seneca Army Depot, is gearing up for its first summer season. This past Saturday was a work day at the park for volunteers of all ages who grabbed rakes and other tools to spruce up areas where visitors have already been touring to see the diverse wildlife and trappings of military history in artifacts and bunkers.

Now, “before the leaves pop out” is prime time for seeing the white deer, said Dennis Money, president of Seneca White Deer Inc.

Money captured photos of the snowy-white deer prancing at the park in Romulus, Seneca County. The nonprofit Seneca White Deer last year played a prime role in sealing a deal for preserving the white deer and other wildlife on about half of the former depot’s original 10,500 acres.

Money said Deer Haven Park — home to the world’s largest herd of distinctive white deer — is drawing national attention. Along with interest from media outlets such as The Washington Post, stars like Ryan Joseph Newman — a.k.a. "Rocket Man,” professional stock car racing driver — are interested in holding events at the park. Corporations, schools, clubs and private groups are booking tours, along with individuals interested in learning more about the site and seeing the deer, wild turkey and other wildlife.

Tours have continued on a routine basis over the winter. The number of visitors coming through exceeded expectations by 50 percent, said Money. “March was super,” he said.

On Saturday, the work focused on bringing “more of the old depot back to some of its original shape,” Money said. “About 13 people, both young and old, recovered two old personnel bomb shelters and one old farm foundation.”

Scouts and two eighth graders did community service, along with, Money noted, “our long-time buddies, the Sisters of St Joseph,” who have been long supporters of the park plan. One of the sisters even hosted a birthday party for one of their own at the park center and then took a tour, said Money.

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