91-acre farm in Palatine protected by easement
PALATINE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The rolling hills of Vosburgh Farm will forever be protected from development thanks to a conservation easement from the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC). Unlike much of the surrounding area, which is cleared for agriculture, the Vosburgh property retains a variety of habitats, from old fields to mature forests, providing high-quality habitats for a wide variety of species.
Along with its rolling hills come scenic views of the Mohawk Valley, a spokesperson from the Land Conservancy said. The property also features extensive woodlands that serve as an oasis for wildlife and a safe passageway for animals migrating across the landscape, particularly north to the nearby Adirondack Park.
Using the Nature Conservancy’s Resilient and Connected mapping data, the Vosburgh property earned eligibility for funding through the Climate Resilience Grant Program, scoring above average for resilience and far above average for diverse habitats. In spring 2022, MHLC was awarded the grant that provided closing costs for the conservation easement donation, protecting the land.
“The Mohawk linkage offers an incredible opportunity for land protection, as it connects core forests between the Catskills and Adirondacks regions, enabling plants and wildlife to find additional space to move and adapt as they seek suitable habitat in the face of climate change,” said Matt Levy, Land Protection Manager with The Nature Conservancy in New York. “Our grant program was developed to support partner land trusts like the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, who are making a meaningful impact in mitigating climate change, bolstering biodiversity and supporting communities through land protection in these critical landscapes.”
Jan Vosburgh is the fifth-generation owner of the farm, which has been part of the Vosburgh family since her great-grandfather and his brother purchased it in the 1800s. Jan Vosburgh has taken many steps to improve the property since gaining ownership in 1983. Farmers who lease the fields are held to organic standards to ensure the land’s long-term health.
Jan also started planting trees on the property to enhance wildlife habitat and increase the property’s biodiversity. Over the years, she has planted an impressive collection of both native and specimen trees.
MHLC Associate Director Sarah Walsh was elated when walking the property. “I was so excited to see adult Ginko trees, Dawn Redwoods, Bald Cypress, and Kentucky Coffee trees,” Walsh said, “it was like being in a private arboretum seeing these specimens that you only see in books or special collections.” Sarah Walsh also noted that Jan’s long-term land stewardship has yielded a healthy and diverse habitat with active populations of fishers, white-tailed deer, birds, and small mammals on the land.