Columbia-Greene Media report
that the Columbia Land Conservancy, working with Equity Trust, Dutchess Land Conservancy, and Scenic Hudson and 300 community members, have stepped in to save Ancram’s Thompson-Finch Farm. Local people and those groups raised $1.5 million to buy the farm, leasing it back to Don and Marnie MacLean. This is the first time Columbia Land Conservancy have used a ground lease arrangement. “CLC is thrilled to be able to use an innovative approach to permanently protect this property and ensure its future as a productive farm. We are enormously grateful to Don and Marnie MacLean for their commitment to conserve the farm, to our partner organizations and to the several hundred members of the community who came together to make this project happen,” says Peter Paden, CLC’s Executive Director. The farm is 30-years-old, growing organic strawberries, blueberries, apples, and many organic vegetables. While the farming continues, the CLC will add a small public trail to the banks of the Roeliff Jansen Kill. “Faced with the certainty that the land we had been farming for over three decades would be sold, we turned to the Columbia Land Conservancy and Equity Trust in search of a way of saving the farm from sale and development," the MacLeans said in a joint statement. "We have worked together to create a dynamic plan that does much more than save the farm for us. We can keep the farm affordable for generations of future farmers and preserve that which so many have come to love." Read the full story at HudsonValley360.com.