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Ancram Farmland Conserved

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Ensuring that their East Heartland Farm will always be available to support the Town of Ancram’s agricultural economy and sustain its natural beauty, generous landowners Frank and Katherine Martucci have donated a conservation easement on the 171-acre property to Dutchess Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson. Dutchess Land Conservancy will hold and maintain the easement, which safeguards the productive and scenic land from any future development. See this news release for additional details about the transaction.

Currently, the land is leased to a local grain farmer who grows hay, corn and soybeans.

East Heartland Farm was a priority of Scenic Hudson’s Foodshed Conservation Plan, a data-driven blueprint for ramping up collaborative farmland-protection efforts to create a secure source of fresh, local food for the Hudson Valley and New York City. It is centrally located within an assemblage of agricultural land spanning more than 3,300 acres in Dutchess and Columbia counties that Scenic Hudson, Dutchess Land Conservancy and Columbia Land Conservancy are working to conserve.

The property also is nearby to approximately 2,000 acres of protected lands in Ancram that include other protected farmland, the Drowned Lands Swamp Conservation Area, Taconic State Park and the Harlem Valley Rail Trail.

In addition to its agricultural importance, the land provides irreplaceable wildlife habitat. It lies within the Harlem Valley Significant Biodiversity Area identified by the state’s Hudson River Estuary Program, the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University and the New York State Natural Heritage Program.

In 2010 and 2011, the Martuccis donated conservation easements on another 372 acres of East Heartland Farm to Dutchess Land Conservancy. They also have partnered in a visionary project to support Columbia County’s farm community by donating land jointly owned with neighbor Dan Slott to establish Ancram Rural Build, a program intended to provide affordable housing for families whose occupations support the county’s agricultural economy. Habitat for Humanity has constructed two homes on the land. Designed by BarlisWedlick Architects, the houses use 90% less energy for heating and cooling than a conventional home, reducing operating and maintenance costs for the homeowners.

Mr. Martucci serves on both Dutchess Land Conservancy’s Advisory Council and Scenic Hudson’s President’s Council of Advisors.

More in this series

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When you think about preserving farmland, sun-splashed fields filled with thriving crops might pop to mind. But a thick woodland?...
The Hudson Valley takes on a different beauty in every season. This little pocket of New York enchants both locals...
When the husband-and-wife team of Jenny Elliott and Luke Franco started their farm in 2011, the organic food movement was...
Some Northeastern farmers have begun carefully shifting back to an age-old land management technique. It’s one that relies on a...
One of the true joys of living in the Hudson Valley is ample access to local farms, especially during growing...
To support farmers, we’ve created a list of farms where you can purchase fresh vegetables and other produce. Most of...
When Congress moved to legalize industrial hemp farming late in 2018, there were cheers all around. Sen. Mitch McConnell, then...
COVID put the kibosh on the Dutchess County Fair (and so much else) last year, so it's great to have...
On a spring evening in 1944, 150 farmers from across Dutchess County gathered in Millbrook to learn about a newfangled...

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Hudson Valley Viewfinder is a collaborative, community digital magazine sharing what inspires us about the beautiful Hudson Valley. We publish original stories and multimedia content about all things sustainable in the region along the Hudson River — including agriculture, science, wildlife, outdoor recreation, green transportation, environmental justice, and more.

Our mission is to immerse you in the storied history, fresh happenings, and coming solutions for making the Hudson Valley greener and more livable long-term.

Viewfinder is published by Scenic Hudson, the celebrated nonprofit credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement in 1963. With over 25,000 passionate supporters, Scenic Hudson’s mission is to sustain and enhance the Hudson Valley’s inspirational beauty and health for generations to come. Viewfinder supports that mission, because the better people understand what makes this place special, the more they will invest in protecting it. 

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Our mission is to immerse you in the storied history, fresh happenings, and coming solutions for making the Hudson Valley greener and more livable long-term.

Viewfinder is published by Scenic Hudson, the celebrated nonprofit credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement in 1963. With over 25,000 passionate supporters, Scenic Hudson’s mission is to sustain and enhance the Hudson Valley’s inspirational beauty and health for generations to come. Viewfinder supports that mission, because the better people understand what makes this place special, the more they will invest in protecting it. 

Keep up with the latest stories by subscribing to Scenic Hudson’s monthly digital newsletter, and connect with us on social via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Threads.

Lynn Freehill-Maye
Managing Editor
editorial@scenichudson.org 

Riley Johndonnell
Director Creative Strategies & Communications
rjohndonnell@scenichudson.org

Lynn Freehill-Maye
Managing Editor
editorial@scenichudson.org 

Riley Johndonnell
Director Creative Strategies & Communications
rjohndonnell@scenichudson.org

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We’re always looking for ideas around our main topic areas of Climate Solutions, Land + Air + Water, Plants + Animals, History + Culture, Outdoors, and Community.
  • Journalists and writers who have deep familiarity with New York and the Hudson Valley, we’d love to have you contribute! Please do introduce yourself by email, sharing writing samples and any relevant pitches you may have.
  • Photographers and videographers, we’d love to hear from you and see what you do. Please send along a portfolio with images or footage that showcases your best and/or most relevant work, with an emphasis on anything captured outdoors. 
  • Illustrators, we commission artwork on the regular. Drop us a note with some of the beauty you’ve created.
  • Media Partners & Social Media Influencers, we welcome opportunities to team up on series and campaigns. Reach out with any background about yourselves and your ideas.
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  • We love to collaborate with media outlets, especially on episodic series (like these) of interest to our shared audiences. Past collaborations have included radio interviews, panel discussions and other events, original artwork, and e-blasts, all furthering the campaign’s excitement and reach. 
  • We also love to partner with other organizations whose missions align with Scenic Hudson’s. Feel free to reach out with some background on your group and its work.
  • Writers, photographers, and creatives, if you have an idea for a series or content campaign that might be a good fit, drop us a line!

Businesses, please note that as a nonprofit, Scenic Hudson is restricted from advertising or promoting for-profit companies, through Viewfinder or other outlets. While we understand content managers may wish to alert us to your company’s role in a relevant topic, we are unable to add links to businesses to our stories.

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