OSI adds historic farmstead to a wide swath of preserved agricultural lands

NEW YORK, NY — January 17, 2012 — The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced that the Rominger family has donated a conservation easement on its historic, 93-acre farm located on Airport Road in the Ulster County town of Rochester. The easement allows residential and agricultural use of the property while restricting the number of structures and limiting further development.

Together with the adjacent Domino dairy farm, the Rominger easement creates a 242-acre swath of preserved viable farmland of abundant scenic and natural beauty.

OSI, in partnership with the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets Farmland Protection Program, protected the Domino farm with a conservation easement in 2009. The Domino preservation deal was able to happen in part because the Romingers had begun taking steps to protect their land as well.

“OSI thanks the Rominger family for its generous donation of a conservation easement on its farm,” said OSI President and CEO Kim Elliman. “Creating an assemblage of protected farmland is an important component of ensuring that viable farmland exists for generations of farmers to come. We commend the Romingers on their commitment to preserving the agricultural character of the Rondout Valley. ”

Both Domino and the Rominger project are part of OSI’s ongoing Two Valleys Campaign, which focuses protection efforts on working farms in the Rondout and Wallkill valleys, an area of scenic beauty and abundant farmland.
The Rominger property’s open farmland, woods, wetlands, streams and ponds provide a rich assemblage of habitat types that provide food and shelter for a wide range of plants, mammals and both resident and migratory birds.

Complete with its 18th century stone house and Dutch-style barn, it was one of 10 farmsteads highlighted in a survey of local historic farms completed last year by the town of Rochester Historic Preservation Commission.

To date, OSI has protected 26 farms and more than 4,000 acres in nine separate towns in the Rondout and Wallkill valleys, preserving an important and growing component of the region’s local economy as well as its traditional rural character.

OSI plans to continue its efforts to preserve farmland in the two picturesque valleys that surround the Shawangunk Ridge, where the organization has also conserved nearly 30,000 acres, including the 5,400-acre Sam’s Point Preserve, much of the 21,000-acre Minnewaska State Park Preserve and the 874 acres recently acquired from Smiley Brothers, Inc.

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