North Country Creamery  Greg Miller N002915

Champlain Valley

Nestled between the Adirondack High Peaks of New York and Lake Champlain, the Champlain Valley’s rolling hills, sweeping views, family-owned farms and wooded trails make this an ideal region for land conservation.

“There is a whole crop of farmers (in the Valley) who are choosing to work the land, who embrace a back-to-the-land ethic and are changing the way we think about food.”
                                            – Nat Klipper

Since 2012, we have been teaming up with the Klipper Family Fund for the Champlain Valley to preserve more than 2,200 acres in and around Essex, New York. Together with our partners, including the Lake Champlain Land Trust and Champlain Area Trails (CATS), we have been growing the local economy and expanding public access along the way.

Saving working farms

With a $1.2 million gift from the Klipper Fund—matched by $500,000 of our own funds—we are protecting heritage farms, open space and pristine forests in the Champlain Valley.

Our support takes many forms. We can purchase development rights of existing farms through easements, protecting the underlying land forever and providing vital capital for the farmer to reinvest.

  • With help from OSI, Racey Bingham and Nathan Henderson were able to purchase farm land. Today, Reber Rock Farm offers maple syrup, grass-fed beef, and pastured chicken to Essex County residents.
  • Farmer Ashlee Kleinhammer runs North Country Creamery, a small dairy with a cheese plant, cheese cave and retail store at Clover Mead Farm. She carries on the legacy of her heritage farm by recreating the signature cheeses popular decades earlier.
  • “Farmers come to train with us from all over the country, but many of them have stayed in the region because the Open Space Institute and the Klippers have made permanent land tenure possible.” - Kristin Kimball, Essex Farm Institute

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


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