OSI Campaigns To Protect Two Farms in Shawangunks

Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman
OSI Campaigns To Protect Two Farms in Shawangunks

NEW YORK, NY - December 1, 2005 - Today, the Open Space Institute and its partner, the New Paltz based Wallkill Valley Land Trust, announced a six-month campaign to raise $962,000 to preserve two Ulster County farms. Both farms are located on the historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz, and are the largest remaining open space tracts that border the Village of New Paltz.

The adjoining Warren Jewett Farm and the Huguenot Street Farm cover 180 acres at the northern end of Huguenot Street, with the Huguenot Historical Society's Harcourt Sanctuary to the south, and nearly a mile of the east bank of the Wallkill River north of the Village.

The Huguenot Street Farm is a thriving 225-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm owned and operated by Ron and Kate Khosla (Read about the Khosla's CSA in Vol 5 of OPEN SPACE, featuring the Fate of Farming in the Hudson River Valley). The Jewett Farm is planted annually in traditional field crops corn and hay.

The campaign will raise funds to purchase conservation easements from the two landowners to permanently protect their private ownership and continued agricultural use, and to preserve their historic nature and open space from residential or commercial development.

The Open Space Institute (OSI) has agreed to contribute $475,000 to the campaign, and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust will raise the remaining $475,000 required to complete the transactions, plus an additional $12,000 for the necessary endowments for the easements, to be held by WVLT.

Bob Taylor, president of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) said, “We will be asking Huguenot Street neighbors, and the community at large to help us match OSI's generous contribution. This is our first campaign to raise funds to purchase conservation easements. We welcome the challenge to preserve as open space this historic and beautiful farmland with magnificent views of the Shawangunk Ridge.”

Joe Martens, OSI's President, said, “These land conservation agreements protect the water quality of the Wallkill River, rich agricultural soils, working farmlands near the growing New Paltz community, scenic views of the Shawangunk Ridge, and the wetlands on the south border of the Jewett Farm near the historic Stone Houses on Huguenot Street.”

The two farms lie within the Historic District of New Paltz and are the only remaining active farming component of the original Huguenot Stone House community.

Christopher Duncan, Executive Director of the WVLT, said, “This is an exciting project that will benefit everyone concerned the Village, the Town, the Wallkill River and its watershed, and extensive wetlands and wildlife habitat. It will benefit neighbors and the whole community with cleaner air and less traffic from residential development that would occur if these owners are forced to sell their farmland.”

“The generous support of OSI has made this ambitious campaign to raise funds for this farmland conservation project possible,” Duncan said.

The Open Space Institute, (www.osiny.org), is a 40-year-old New York City-based land conservation organization which has protected nearly 100,000 acres in New York State. Through its Northern Forest Protection Fund and Conservation Loan Program, OSI has assisted in the protection of 1.4 million acres in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and North Carolina.

The Wallkill Valley Land Trust, (www.wallkillvalleylt.org) founded in 1987, is the local land conservation organization in southern Ulster County. It works to preserve open space for present and future generations and has protected nearly 1000 acres. The land trust seeks to conserve the community's environmental heritage, to promote voluntary preservation of land, and to protect scenic, natural, recreational, and agricultural lands.

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Jewett Farm
New Paltz, NY
Huguenot Street Farm
New Paltz, NY

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