Preparations are now moving ahead to purchase the development rights on Gardiner’s historic Hess Farm. Many local residents, businesses and farmers have already contributed. Now, with the March 31 deadline looming, $9,500 remains to be raised. “Thanks to many supporters, a federal farmland protection grant and generous support from Open Space Institute and several family foundations, we have raised more than $440,000 — nearly all the money needed to preserve this working farm for future generations,” said Marc Moran, a member of the Hess Farm Preservation Committee.
The Hess farm is located in the heart of Town of Gardiner, just down the road from the hamlet. This land has been a working farm since the Civil War and in Albert Hess’ family since the 1920s. A conservation easement on this land will keep it on the tax rolls and farming can continue forever. But development of this farmland will not be possible.
“You can still be part of this remarkable community effort,” said Moran. Open Space Institute and its land trust affiliate, Open Space Conservancy, have established a dedicated Hess Farm fund, in partnership with the Town of Gardiner. Online donations may be made at www.osiny.org. Checks may be mailed to: Open Space Conservancy, 1350 Broadway, Suite 201, New York, NY 10018. (Be sure to note “Hess Farm” on your check or the on-line comment box). All contributions are tax deductible.
More information about the Hess Farm project can be found at www.townofgardiner.org.