Skip to main content

County Funding Available for Open Space, Farmland & ‘Pocket Park’ Preservation Projects
$690K available through Partnership for Manageable Growth program

Published: 5/26/2021

For More Information Contact:

Brad Barclay, Senior Planner, 845-486-3600

Applications for funding are now being accepted through Dutchess County’s Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG) program, with approximately $690,000 in existing PMG funding available in Open Space/Farmland Protection grants. For 2021, a new category of PMG grants has been established to allow municipalities to consider the acquisition of “pocket parks” in their town and village centers

The innovative PMG program allows Dutchess County to strategically preserve farmlands that are the basis for agriculture – a vital, diverse and growing economic engine throughout the County – as well as open space acquisitions, which allow the County to partner with municipalities to acquire properties with important environmental features that can be opened up to allow people to experience nature first-hand. 

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Dutchess County’s Centers and Greenspaces Plan recognizes that to continue to strengthen the land use pattern that has created the sense of place that makes Dutchess special, we must protect our existing open space resources and agricultural lands, while encouraging the development of our vital centers. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen what valuable resources local parks of every size have been for residents and families looking for recreation and fresh air. As such, we encourage local municipalities to propose ‘pocket parks’ proposals for PMG funding to grow the number of local parks for residents to enjoy throughout Dutchess County.”

Program guidelines and an application cover sheet are available on the PMG webpage.  To facilitate site visits by the Planning Board to potential project sites in the middle of July, project sponsors must submit a list of potential projects to County’s Department of Planning and Development by 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, 2021; full applications must be submitted on or before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.  Questions about open space and farmland protection projects can be directed to Senior Planner Brad Barclay at or (845) 486-3600. 

In 2019, the most recent PMG funding round, Dutchess County awarded $1,985,188 to partially fund the purchase of development rights at four farms, located in the towns of Red Hook and Rhinebeck, Clinton, Pine Plains and North East and an open space acquisition in the Town of Dover; a $500,000 infrastructure grant was provided to assist in the Pawling Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade.  

Those farmland/open space awards were made after a thorough review and ranking by the County’s Planning Board and the Pawling infrastructure grant was reviewed by the DCWWA.  The PMG (is designed to assist the County and its municipalities in implementing the recommendations of adopted planning documents including Directions: The Plan for Dutchess County, the Dutchess County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, Greenway Connections, and the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Plan.

Hans Klingzahn, Chair of County Planning Board “All five farmland/open space applications received in 2019 were of very high quality and will make excellent PMG projects.  Several of these projects have already received their required matching funds are and proceeding to fruition.  County Planning Board members are excited to review a new set of potential projects.”