The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced that it has permanently protected 606 acres of farmland at Kim-Mar Farms in the towns of Canandaigua and Hopewell, Ontario County, with a conservation easement. Funds for the project came from the state’s Farmland Protection Implementation Program (FPIG), administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, as well as the Town of Canandaigua.
Owned and managed by Mark and Kim Stryker, the farm is located just off State Route 332, north of the city of Canandaigua. In recent years, residential development pressure has become intense in this area of Ontario County, given its proximity to the Rochester metropolitan area.
Mark and Kim are first generation farmers who produce corn, wheat, soybeans, hay, straw, and beef cattle—all of which are sold to local markets. They bought their first 84 acres in 1991 and continue to purchase neighboring parcels to grow their operations. The farm is committed to best management practices and works with the Ontario County Soil & Water Conservation District to control erosion and storm water runoff. These practices are important ecologically, as the farm drains into Beaver Creek and Padelford Brook, tributaries of the Canandaigua Outlet.
Kim-Mar Farms is the fifth farm protected through a partnership between New York State, the Town of Canandaigua, and the Finger Lakes Land Trust. Recent projects include the protection of Catalpa Farm and Brock Acres, both large-scale crop farms located two miles away, across Route 332. All three farms are located in the Town of Canandaigua’s “Padelford Brook Greenway,” a farmland protection project aimed at reducing commercial and residential development pressure.
“The threat of development and the potential loss of valuable farm lands is very real,” said New York State Senator Pam Helming. “I truly appreciate the efforts of the Strykers, the Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Town of Canandaigua to preserve and protect these lands. The long term commitment to preserving prime soils for agricultural use is important for our community. As State Senator, I will continue to advocate for the funding necessary to support local conservation and preservation efforts.”
“The Town of Canandaigua would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to the Finger Lakes Land Trust and New York State for this award and for giving us the opportunity to preserve this valuable and beautiful land,” said Canandaigua Town Supervisor Cathy Menikotz. “We are fortunate to have a community which values our farmland for its intrinsic agricultural value and bucolic beauty. I am particularly grateful to everyone on our committees, our volunteers, and Town employees who have the foresight to identify these valuable parcels and work with partners like the FLLT. On behalf of the Town of Canandaigua, I would especially like to thank the Stryker family for their efforts.”
Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that permanently limit future land use in order to protect the land’s conservation value. Lands subject to conservation easements remain in private ownership, on local tax rolls, and available for traditional uses such as farming and hunting.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 26,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 35 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 154 properties that remain in private ownership.
The FLLT focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Information on the region’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at www.fllt.org.