Press Release from HRVG
The Hudson River Valley Greenway announced it has awarded the Town of Clarkstown in partnership with the Village of Upper Nyack a $5,000 Greenway Communities Grant for the Rockland Farm Alliance Farm Land Expansion Program. The Greenway board awarded a total of $33,000 for projects throughout the Hudson Valley region at a recent meeting held in Hyde Park, N.Y.
The Rockland Farm Alliance Farmland Expansion Program will help increase the number of regional farms while expanding its educational program. The Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA) will identify properties for potential farming and will work with willing partners to pursue these opportunities. Through education and outreach to local landowners, the RFA will help partners make their land ready for farming and will provide guidance on establishing farming operations.
Mark Castiglione, acting executive director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway, stated, “We are pleased to partner with the Town of Clarkstown, Upper Nyack, and the RFA as they work to expand their efforts to reimagine agriculture in Rockland County. By engaging local land owners and supporting local farming, the Rockland Farm Alliance Farm Land Expansion Program will not only help to protect valuable open space resources, but it will also support the production of healthy local food.”
“In moving forward with our unique vision and strategy for more small farms and a strong local foods movement in Rockland County, the support of partners like the Hudson River Valley Greenway is critical in preserving and promoting the health of our land as well as the health of our communities. Our collaboration allows for vital education and outreach, training and advocacy to guide us towards an even better Rockland.” said John McDowell, president and chairman of the board for the Rockland Farm Alliance.
Alexander Gromack, Town of Clarkstown supervisor, noted, “The Rockland Farm Alliance has worked diligently in preserving, creating and enhancing sustainable agriculture and food production in Rockland County and the Town of Clarkstown is pleased to host this initiative. RFA is taking the lead on introducing different models of sustainable agriculture, and providing guidance in obtaining new land and funding opportunities for newly launched farms. They employ unique strategies, such as serving as an “umbrella” to piece together small farms so that combined they meet NYS minimums for agricultural assessment. Our residents and the entire Rockland community has been very welcoming to the farm movement and are now hungry for locally produced foods. They are particularly excited about the progress RFA has made. RFA and the Town of Clarkstown look forward to once again working with the Hudson River Valley Green way on farm initiatives.”