State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope), announced several grants through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for farmland preservation. Senator Bonacic is a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, and the only Hudson Valley Senator on the budget subcommittee that oversees the EPF. The grants will help preserve nearly 1,000 acres of key farmland in Minisink, Warwick, Crawford, Rochester, and North East.
Funding is used to purchase development rights on local farms. That means the property can continue to be used for agricultural purposes, but will not be developed for residential or commercial purposes. The program amounts to a "win/win" for both the environment and the farm's owner.
"Family farms are being lost in the Hudson Valley due to development and in some cases, real estate speculation. Hudson Valley residents want a balance between growth and land preservation. The EPF grants help make that balance possible," Senator Bonacic said.
Over the past nine years, State aid for land preservation efforts has dramatically increased. This year’s environmental protection fund budget is $250 million, an amount which is expected to grow to $300 million by 2010.
"The State has made a tremendous investment in open space preservation and environmental initiatives under both Governors Pataki and Spitzer. I look forward to continuing to work to make sure our region obtain its fair share of these funds so key environmental initiatives can be accomplished," Senator Bonacic said.
Detailed information on each farm and grant which will be received under this round of environmental protection funding is below:
Town of Minisink (Orange County) $295,300
The Town will partner with Orange County Land Trust to protect the Kezialain Farm, founded in
1775, a 166-acre organic beef and horse-boarding operation with 50% statewide important soils,
3,000 ft. frontage along Tunkamose Creek, and that adjoins Laurel Hill Preserve and the Minisink Town Park. The farm’s woodland is a documented habitat for an federally designated endangered species of bat.
Town of Warwick (Orange County) $626,719
The Town will protect Bellvale Farms, founded in 1819, a 103-acre dairy and vegetable operation that also provides educational farm tours, and which has 98% high quality soils and adjoins a protected farm that is adjoined by two additional protected farms.
Town of Crawford (Orange County) $864,825
The Town will partner with Open Space Conservancy to protect Glen Haven Farm, founded in 1999, a 112-acre livestock farm and greenhouse operation with 100% high quality soils that adjoins a 144-acre protected farm. The diversified farm operation includes Greenwich Orchids International, which sells orchids nationwide.
Ulster County $1,070,175
The County will partner with Open Space Conservancy to protect Arrowhead Farm, founded in 1911, is a 278-acre livestock, grain and hay operation with 32% prime and 31% statewide important soils and 2,000 ft. of frontage along Rondout Creek.
Town of Rochester (Ulster County) $693,900
The Town will partner with Open Space Conservancy to protect the Domino Farm, founded in 1955, a 126.6 acre dairy operation with 64% high quality soils and frontage along Kripplebush Creek. The farm has received New York’s "Super Milk" award for five consecutive years.
Dutchess County $907,458
The County will partner with Dutchess Land Conservancy to protect Sunset Ridge Farm, founded in 1981, a 208-acre dairy operation with 65% high quality soils. It has over 5,000 ft. of frontage along Webatuck Creek and adjoins two farms that are presently under contract to be protected. The farm is also listed with National Historic Register as one of the nine farms comprising the Coleman Station Historic District whose agricultural heritage dates back to the late 1700s.