Dutchess County to Spend $2.2 Million to Protect Four Farms
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced on January 24th that Dutchess County's Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG) Program will provide more than $2.2 million to permanently protect four farms, preserving working agricultural lands for years to come. The program also looks to assist a community organization in converting the deteriorated former Bennet collet property into a new community park.
Created in 1999, the PMG program helps to protect important agricultural and open space resources. The program provides a locally funded match for land preservation purchases up to 50% of the total project cost. Since its inception, the program has helped to protect 5,313 acres of farmland and open space in Dutchess County, with several more projects pending that total around 1,000 acres.
Dutchess County remains a leader in the protection of farmland and open space, and our Partnership for Manageable Growth allows us to do so – maintaining both our agrarian heritage and our County’s visual splendor for years to come. Through our preservation, these four farms will endure as vital parts of Dutchess County’s agricultural legacy, continuing to contribute to our local economy and the charm that makes our community unique. The convergence of the deteriorating, former Bennett College campus into a public park will revitalize an important historical and cultural site located at the southern gateway to the Village of Millbrook and return it to the public realm for future generations to enjoy.
The County Planning Board evaluated proposed projects using objective criteria, met with the farmers and landowners at each property and subsequently provided funding recommendations to County Executive Molinaro. The four farm projects are contained within the County's "Agricultural Priority Areas," as delineated in the 2015 Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan. The revitalization of the former Bennet College site has bee a priority for the Millbrook community for some time now.
Below are the four farms included in this latest announcement, along with the plans for the Bennet College site.