Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today that the County has closed on its acquisition of the Carnwath Farms property in the Town of Wappinger as part of the Dutchess County Partnership for Manageable Growth/Open Space and Farmland Protection Program. This marks the third time that Dutchess County has leveraged its matching grant dollars to acquire a conservation easement on open space.
County Executive Steinhaus noted, “This is a notable achievement for the Town of Wappinger and Dutchess County. Through our partnership, a historic and scenic property overlooking the Hudson River and part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the residents of Dutchess County will be able to enjoy one of the most spectacular river views in the area.”
This once-private land, previously owned by the Greystone Program Inc., will now serve as a public park for passive recreational use. The 99.6-acre property, with extensive rolling fields, Hudson River views and historic buildings, will also secure a key segment of the Greenway Trail System.
County Executive Steinhaus noted, “This exemplifies the one of the primary goals of our Manageable Growth/Open Space Partnership Program, which is to partner with communities for the common goal of preserving public open space to ensure manageable “smart growth” in Dutchess. The Town of Wappinger joined the Greenway Compact in 2002, secured funding to purchase the property in 2000 and have now partnered with Dutchess County in order for all residents to enjoy the Carnwath Farms property.”
“My first act as Town Supervisor was to enter the Town into the Greenway Compact, knowing that in order to have true smart growth, we need to have intermunicipal planning, and coordination with the County,” Supervisor Joseph Ruggiero said. “The people of the Town of Wappinger appreciate this grant awarded to us by Dutchess County, and look forward to the long term vision for Carnwath Farms, not only for the people of the Town of Wappinger, but for the people of Dutchess County as well.”
Since the establishment of the Matching Grant Program the Dutchess County Planning Board has recommended over $2 million for open space and farmland proposals that would protect 1,348 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.