Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus toured the Hiddenbrooke property in the City of Beacon today with City of Beacon Mayor Clara Lou Gould and members of the Dutchess County Planning Board as part of the final review process for $550,000 grant application from the Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program, an environmental initiative Steinhaus authored in 1999.
County Executive Steinhaus stated, “The Hiddenbrooke property meets my vision of what we wanted to accomplish when we authored this program. It certainly appears to meet the goals of the County’s “green” environmental agenda by protecting our greenspace and providing public access to a wonderful resource. I commend Mayor Gould and the residents of the City of Beacon for their commitment to stewardship of its natural beauty and heritage.”
Hiddenbrooke is a 103.3 acre property located at the southern edge of the City of Beacon, at the foot of Mount Beacon and the gateway to the magnificent Hudson Highlands and the Highlands Greenway Corridor.
In 2006, Beacon residents identified preserving Hiddenbrooke as a primary “Vision Target Area” during the City of Beacon Comprehensive Plan Visioning Process. The City Council and then the voters approved a $1,000,000 bond initiative to save the historic and scenic property from development. The City would also provide an additional $100,000 from the sale proceeds of property taken through tax foreclosure. Additional funding would be provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund ($350,000) and the Archdiocese of New York ($250,000).
If approved, the Hiddenbrooke acquisition would be the eighth open space project that the County has funded through the Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program. This Steinhaus initiative has already contributed to the protection of more than 1700 acres of open space and farmland, investing nearly $3.7 million to preserve property valued at more than $10 million.
Other Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program partnerships have included:
- Town of Dover - Stone Church
- Town and Village of Rhinebeck - Thompson Park (Rhineson property)
- Town of Wappinger - Carnwath Farm
- City of Poughkeepsie - Forbus Butternut
- Town of Poughkeepsie - Peach Hill and Locust Grove
- Town of Union Vale - Abel Tree Farm
Steinhaus concluded, “As I emphasized my 2007 State of the County address “Dutchess Goes Green” - Dutchess County is committed to environmental conservation through the preservation of open space. It is very encouraging to see communities such as the City of Beacon follow the County’s lead in protecting our greenspace for future generations to enjoy.”