October 20, 2003
Steinhaus Preserves Wappinger Historic Carnwath Property
County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today final authorization to
proceed with the acquisition of the Carnwath Farms/Greystone property in the
Town of Wappinger as part of the Dutchess County Partnership for
Manageable Growth/Open Space and Farmland Protection Program. Legislation
of the commitment from Dutchess County was passed at the Dutchess County
Legislature’s October meeting and signed by County Executive Steinhaus on
As part of the agreement, the county will acquire a conservation easement on
the protected property. The Town of Wappinger, the county’s partner in this
endeavor, will dedicate the land as a public park for recreational use and
preserve the vast lawns that overlook the Hudson River and its surroundings.
This property will become part of the Greenway Trail System.
County Executive Steinhaus noted, “The Town of Wappinger was one of the first
to commit municipal funds to qualify for a match from our County’s program.
We congratulate the Town for developing an ambitious master plan for this
unique and historic site. I am especially pleased our partnership will secure
a key segment of the Hudson River Valley Greenway that will provide public
access to one of the most spectacular river views in the area.”
County Executive Steinhaus proposed the original Open Space and Farmland
Protection Matching Grant Program in his 1999 State of the County Address
and convened a task force of public and private sector partners to develop
guidelines that would allow the County to protect its open space and
agricultural resources. Key to the proposal was the matching grant concept,
which allowed the County to leverage its investment in partnership with
public and private funding programs. The proposal, including an initial bond
of $1 million, was approved by the County Legislature in 2000. The
Partnership for Manageable Growth, approved in 2001, expanded the
original program to encourage planning and participation at the local level.
The Town of Wappinger joined the Greenway Compact in February 2002 and has
committed $800,000 to purchase the protected property.
Mr. Steinhaus said, “I envisioned an Open Space and Farmland Protection
Program based on partnership and collaboration to ensure manageable “smart
growth” in Dutchess. I am gratified to see our Compact communities rising to
the challenge. Creating a public park at Carnwath Farms/Greystone is a
remarkable achievement for everyone involved.”
The Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended the County’s
Partnership for Manageable Growth/Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching
Grant Program provide a grant to the Town of up to $280,000, or one third
of the cost of acquiring the public open space portion of the 99.6-acre
property on Wheeler Hill Road formerly known as the “Greystone Property.”
Since the establishment by Steinhaus of the Matching Grant Program, the
Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended $1,825,416 in for open space
and farmland proposals that would protect 1,206 acres. The Board anticipates
an increase in applications as communities commit to local participation. The
County Executive has committed $7 million to the program to date, with the
goal of protecting at least 10,000 acres of resources over the coming decade.
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