News

Open Space Institute helps protect Stillwater Farm

New York, NY - December 19,2003 - This morning the Open Space Institute announced the acquisition of a conservation easement that will permanently protect 135 acres of farmland in Stillwater, Saratoga County. 

OSI's land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy (OSC), acquired the easement in a partnership with the Town of Stillwater, which used State grant funds for its share of the easement. OSI used funds from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment Fund, which is maintained by OSI and dedicated to land preservation in the Hudson River Valley. The protected acreage, known as Hanehan Farm, is part of a dairy farm named after a fourth generation family that has operated for over a century. Milk is New York's leading agricultural product. The Hanehan property consists of high quality farmland in a region—the Hudson River Valley—recently rated as “part of the 10th most threatened agricultural region in the U.S.” by American Farmland Trust. 

Marty Hanehan commented after the closing: 
"Having a fourth generation family farm dairy business, we are happy to preserve this land for future generations through a purchase of development rights. With the help of the State and OSI, our families, the previous owners, and the neighbors will all enjoy the views of this property forever, with the satisfaction that it can never be developed." 

“Family run farms in the Northeast, particularly those near metropolitan areas, are increasingly threatened by the wave of development that is sweeping across the Hudson Valley. OSI works with a variety of public and private partners to protect farms, through outright acquisitions or the purchase of conservation easements,” said Joe Martens, president of the Open Space Institute. The Capital district is a priority area for the Open Space Institute, said Martens. 

“I am very, very happy about this and glad to be a part of the effort to protect the Hanehan Farm. With its rolling hills and wide open space, it's a gorgeous property,” said Pual Lilac, Stillwater town supervisor. The Hanehan property is located nearby another 250 acres of farmland protected by an OSI held easement in the Town of Saratoga. And, directly across the Hudson River is the 1,000-acre “Saratoga Battlefield Viewshed,” a property protected by OSI in 1999 in partnership with another dairy farmer. 

“Its extremely satisfying to protect pastoral settings. When there is a historic aspect to the farm, it's even more rewarding. When you visit the Saratoga Battlefield, you're as close as you can come to standing in the boots of the American military forces who defeated the British during the revolutionary war,” said Martens. 

OSI vice president, Dan Luciano, handled the closing this morning. “This project was several years in the making, and depended on a remarkable partnership among the Hanehan brothers, OSI, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the County Planning Department, and the Town. We thank Marty and Pat Hanehan for their patience as well as their commitment to protecting their land,” said Luciano.

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