One of the primary goals of the DLC is to preserve natural resources: the forests that give off oxygen and store the carbon we produce, the farmland where our food is grown, the open land that offers us opportunities for outdoor recreation, the waterways and wetlands that carry and filter our drinking water, and scenic views that inspire our lives. We work with landowners to conserve large, interconnected, unfragmented landscapes that protect biodiversity, viable ecosystems and wildlife populations, and facilitate their movement and adaptation in the face of climate change. When landowners make the connection between their property and the adjoining larger landscape, and combine this with their preservation goals, the result is a well-thought-out plan for the land that benefits the landowner, the community and the rural and natural environment.

We’re so proud to share stories of people who prioritize this connection and protected their land and its resources for the benefit of us all.
Jordan Lane Farm
While her property is first and foremost considered a farm to owner Betsy Speeter, the DLC became aware that the property constitutes 25 percent of the Village of Pine Plain’s designated wellhead protection zone. It was clear that this land, with its nearly 40 acres of wetlands that play a crucial role in water quality protection, should be preserved. Development of the land in the wrong way could lead to potential pollution of the Village’s water system. 

Well Matched

How the Farmer-Landowner Match Program is increasing awareness and options for landowners and farmers.

by Karin Roux

When people talk about what makes them feel connected to this area, they invariably speak of the landscape, especially a love for the open farmland that lies distinctly nestled between forests, wetlands, mountains, and rivers. Whether used as pasture for cattle or horses, corn or hay fields, vegetable rows or fruit orchards, these open farm fields create the distinctive and beloved patchwork landscape of the Dutchess County that we all know and love. But, speak to anyone who has known the county for a decade or more, and you will also hear a growing concern that there are fewer farm fields, and fewer fields which actually produce food.

The Dover Stone Church Preserve

A Partnership to Acquire Land for the Public

A site of impressive ecological, geological, and historical importance, the Dover Stone Church is a well-known landmark in Dutchess County and surrounding areas. When the DLC and the Town of Dover were notified that the property, consisting of 58 acres within walking distance of the Village of Dover Plains, was going to be sold, the DLC and the Town began laying plans to protect it. With unique natural, cultural, and historic resources that could benefit many, this was an opportunity to preseve land for public use. 

Wethersfield Farm
“If we …dedicate ourselves to the long-term stewardship of this marvelous countryside, we will not only do a service to ourselves and each other, but to future generations.” — Chauncey D. Stillman (1907-1989)

From almost any vantage point at Wethersfield, the views encompass hundreds of acres of land under conservation. Thanks to the dedication of many individuals, significant land holdings in Amenia, Northeast, and Pine Plains have been protected. Chauncey D. Stillman would be so gratified.

On Solid Ground
In a year without parties, Georgina Schaeffer visits with one of the driving forces of the Dutchess Land Conservancy’s events to find that the show will most definitely go on.

Straddling the New York-Connecticut border, the Meili family works more than 200 acres of land.

It’s a rainy afternoon when I arrive at Rocky Reef Farm to interview Everett Cook. Still, he comes out to greet me. We sit in the well-appointed and comfortable living room. Two dogs stretch out at our feet and dozens of family photos surround us. Cook is tall and slender with a cadence to his speech that alludes to his Southern roots.

Dedicated to Preservation
When Eric Roberts began to look for a second home outside of New York City in the early 1990s, he quickly homed in on Millbrook and its surrounding towns in no small part because of the work of the Dutchess Land Conservancy. “[I chose this area] because of the open spaces and the protections already in place to keep the area rural. This was the work of the DLC. I became a supporter and an advocate for their work and mission from those early days until the present.”

Michele Ferraro and Kathleen Weathers searched for almost a decade for the perfect land to suit their needs: they found it just outside the Village of Millerton in the Town of North East, a 78.5-acre parcel that hadn’t yet reached its potential. Its previous owner passed away unexpectedly and the land waited for the right buyer to finally bring it to life as a working farm.

Across the street from the old sign signaling your arrival in the hamlet of Salt Point in the Town of Pleasant Valley, the red barn and historic 1790 main house of Locust Grove Farm create a vista trapped in time. It’s nearly impossible not to notice the stunning, rural landscape of the area and hope that this picturesque scene will never disappear. Thanks to the generational stewardship of the Atkins family, part of it never will.