Farm’s Preservation Protects NY Watershed

Town of Southeast, New York, 10/10/02 —

The nonprofit Trust for Public Land announced today the permanent protection of the 199-acre Tilly Foster Farm in the Town of Southeast in Putnam County. The protection of the land will help preserve the water quality of the Middle Branch Reservoir, part of the Croton Reservoir system which provides drinking water to New York City. The $3.9 million acquisition sets a new precedent, using funds allocated to Putnam County from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection from a fund established to enable municipalities in the New York City watershed to invest in projects that will protect the water supply.

Tilly Foster Farm is a scenic complex of pastures and historic farm buildings once used to operate a dairy and thoroughbred farm. The preservation of the farm, which was targeted by developers for 600 condominiums, protects this rural icon and will provide opportunities for environmental education programs. Situated along the busy and fast-developing Route 312/Interstate 84 corridor, Tilly Foster Farm is in one of Putnam County’s most scenic and historic viewsheds.

“This partnership of New York City, Putnam County and the conservation community is a model that should be replicated for future protection efforts,” said Kate Garrett, project manager for the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization that negotiated the purchase. “The purchase of Tilly Foster Farm protects the drinking water of millions of New York City residents and makes a historic rural resource available to future generations for environmental education.”

“The Trust for Public Land made it possible for the county to own this farm, which will become an integral part of the Tilly Foster Conservation Area,” said County Executive Bob Bondi.

The Trust for Public Land and its joint venture partner, the nonprofit Open Space Institue (OSI) are working together to protect more land in this area. OSI was given a property neighboring Tilly Foster Farm that it will donate to Putnam County.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, conservation finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. To date, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres of land nationwide valued at $2.4 billion, including more than 60,000 acres in New York.