March 18, 2021
Forever Protected: A Dutchess Land Conservancy Film, produced by environmental filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, opens with a panoramic flyover showcasing this area’s tapestry of majestic forests, fields and farms, visually conveying the DLC’s essential mission: land conservation. Resident actor Liam Neeson opens the film with his own compelling statement to the community: “We are so lucky to have this place. But I know it takes more than luck to preserve what we have here. It takes the work of organizations like the Dutchess Land Conservancy.”

Through a series of interviews with DLC stakeholders, including founding Board Chairwoman Leslie Barclay, the film walks through just a few of the benefits of land conservation in a little more than ten minutes. Third-generation farmer Sarah Chase of Chaseholm Farm speaks to the future of the quality of food, while John Dyson of Millbrook Vineyards and Winery touches on the importance land has in creating a thriving rural economy. Former Dover Town Supervisor Ryan Courtien and the DLC’s own Julie Hart expound on the personal benefits of engaging with land: from learning about our culture and history, to spending time outdoors as setting the stage for a healthy life, to understanding our place and role in a larger ecosystem. In each segment, the film shows the beauty of the county: a historic dairy farm, the crops of a local vineyard, the stone cavern, cascading water and woods of a public preserve. It highlights how families enjoy the land: hiking in the woods, horseback riding through the fields, fishing and rowing in a local lake, allowing the viewer to consider land as a gift that should be cherished, cared for and passed on intact. The message of the film resounds in the words of each interview and through every shot of the camera’s lens: this is our land to preserve and protect for future generations, this land that we all call home. Last October, more than 50 cars filled with individuals, couples and families arrived for the premiere at the Four Brothers Drive-In in Amenia. The socially-distanced evening (complete with pizza and popcorn) raised more than $150,000 for DLC programs.