Featured News and Highlights

Dutch Hollow Farm Protects 143 Acres in Schodack, NY

Dutch Hollow Farm purchased 143 acres of farmland in Schodack, NY and immediately sold the property’s development rights to CLC, permanently protecting it from non-agricultural development. This transaction is in addition to the 600 acres that the Chittenden family, who owns Dutch Hollow Farm, protected so far (see our spring 2014 Newsletter). Scenic Hudson provided full funding to CLC for the purchase of development rights after our application for federal funding was denied. To find out more about CLC’s farmland protection efforts, please visit our website. CLC will be hosting our Country Barbecue at Dutch Hollow Farm this year, and participants will have the opportunity to tour the farm and explore the farm’s Discovery Dairy Education Center. We hope you will join us!


Culverts: In Need of Attention

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by Peter Paden Published April 1, 2015 in the Register-Star

What would you do if on a lovely Saturday morning, your first day in a while away from the demands of your job, your spouse said to you, “Honey, let’s go over to Town Hall. Some fellow from the DEC is going to be giving a presentation on culverts?”

I’ll tell you what I did. I went. Why, you say? I asked myself that more than once as I drove to the meeting. But I’ll tell you something else: it was one of the most interesting presentations I’ve heard in a while. And it’s information that every local political leader, every highway and public works department head, and every member of a Planning Board or Conservation Advisory Commission should be aware of. Indeed, anyone who is interested in the efficient use of public dollars, in our communities’ ability to withstand extreme weather events or in the health of our ecosystem will find the subject of culverts a lot more compelling than you might first imagine.

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CLC Expands Its Conserve A Local Farm (CALF) Program

We recently expanded our Conserve A Local Farm (CALF) program designed to keep farmland properties in production by matching farm sellers with buyers who are committed to either farming the land themselves or leasing it to a farmer. CLC is working with realtors and individual sellers to help advertise their farms to conservation-minded farm buyers; and we are now working in a broader capacity to include a wider range of farm properties, including affordable properties suitable for beginning farmers. For more information or to list a property, please visit our website or contact Marissa Codey, 518 392 5252, ext 211.


SUMMER CAMP LOTTERY

Enter to win a free week at summer camp! CLC is sponsoring two Columbia County residents, ages 11-to-17, to attend the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation education camps where campers connect with nature and learn outdoor skills. There are seven week-long sessions, starting on June 28, 2015 and ending August 14, 2015. This program is part of CLC’s ongoing efforts to prepare the next generation of leaders to value land conservation. Each year, CLC provides thousands of people of all ages with hands-on learning experiences at our public conservation areas and other outdoor locations around the county. Enter by March 18, 2015 by contacting Tom Crowell, 518. 392. 5252, ext. 209. On March 25, 2015, the winners will be randomly selected.


The Nature of Columbia County

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by Peter Paden Published March 4, 2015 in the Register-Star

Anyone who has read these columns over the years knows that I take every opportunity to trumpet the diverse and significant ecological characteristics of Columbia County – expansive forest tracts, abundant wetlands and water bodies, rich soil base, healthy and varied habitat for animals and plants, all of which combine to provide highly scenic, often expansive vistas in every direction. These characteristics are an integral part of the qualities that make the county a special place, that give rise to our highly-valued rural character and make it such an attractive place to live – full-time or part-time, to work and to operate a business. It follows that if we want to ensure that these qualities will last, we must be committed to a strategy of conservation and thoughtful planning.

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Learn About Maple Sugaring the Modern and Native American Way

Warm days and cold nights are the perfect recipe to get the sap flowing in sugar maples across the northeast. The sugar maple has been our state’s official tree since 1956, and New York is second only to Vermont in maple sugar production in the United States. March 21-22 and 28-28, 2015 are the official Maple Weekends in New York. CLC however has an early bird treat for you – a guided tour at a local sugar bush, The Farm at Miller’s Crossing, on Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 pm. The farm owners will explain the present day gravity fed collection system, the techniques of collecting sap, and boiling the sap down to syrup. We’ll be joined by environmental educator Justin Wexler to talk about Native American traditions of maple sugaring. If last year is any indication, you will have a chance to taste the sweet syrup as it comes out of the pan! To register, click here.


CLC Helps Three Young Families Access Farmland in Copake

CLC, in partnership with Scenic Hudson and Northeast Farm Access, LLC, protected 189 acres of working farmland on two properties of the Copake Agricultural Center, supporting a groundbreaking, investor-driven initiative to make farmland available to both young farmers and experienced farmers seeking to expand their operation. The Northeast Farm Access brings together farmers seeking long-term land security with social investors focused on the “triple bottom line” of financial, social, and environmental returns on their investment. The Copake Agricultural Center leases the protected land to three young farm families growing wholesale, market, and restaurant vegetables and flowers. Scenic Hudson provided full funding for the project, and CLC holds the conservation easements on the 186 acres of farmland, protecting them from development. Read Register Star’s coverage here.
“This project is a great example of CLC’s work to conserve farmland and help farmers obtain access to it in creative ways,” said Peter Paden, CLC’s executive director.