Ithaca, NY. The Finger Lakes Land Trust and the Town of Canandaigua today announced that they had completed conservation easement agreements with two Canandaigua families that will ensure their farms will be conserved and available for agricultural use.
The protection agreements will prohibit subdivision and development of the 135-acre Wyffels Farm on Middle Cheshire Road and the 82-acre Hicks Farm on Coye Road adjacent to the Bristol Harbor Resort. Funding for the projects was provided by New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Town’s Open Space Fund.
The Wyffels Farm is located in an area that has experienced significant residential development in recent years and its grazing cattle provide a scenic backdrop to Middle Cheshire Road. The Hicks Farm features pasture as well as hay fields, vineyards, and a rugged wooded gorge that is located a short distance from Canandaigua Lake.
Conservation easements are legal agreements that limit future development while typically allowing for traditional land uses such as agriculture and forestry. Easements are recorded in the land records and are binding on future owners of the property. Both of these conservation easements will be held and monitored by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, which now holds more than 90 of these agreements across the 12 county Finger Lakes Region.
“We’re grateful to the Wyffels and Hicks families for their wonderful commitment to the land and their community. We also greatly appreciate the Town’s support for this project,” adds Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp. “The protection of these farms will help ensure the continuation of agriculture in Canandaigua while also helping to maintain Canandaigua Lake’s water quality.”
“The Town is so pleased to have finally secured these farms and preserve them for future generations,” adds Canandaigua Supervisor Sam Casella. “It was a great deal of work but well worth the effort. I hope these projects serve as encouragement to other municipalities to pursue their own preservation efforts. I especially want to thank the Finger Lakes Land Trust for their valuable support and guidance.”
With the completion of the Wyffels and Hicks easements, the Land Trust has completed 16 land protection projects within the Canandaigua Lake Watershed. Other accomplishments include the establishment of Grimes Glen County Park in Naples, and the organization’s partnership with the Town of South Bristol to secure lands adjacent to its scenic overlook on County Route 12.
The Finger Lakes Land Trust was established in 1989 to work cooperatively with landowners and local communities to conserve those lands that define the character of the 12-county Finger Lakes Region. To date, the organization has permanently protected more than 14,000 acres of the region’s scenic farmland, undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, and majestic forests. Additional information about the Land Trust and conservation easements may be obtained by visiting the Land Trust’s web site ( www.fllt.org) or by calling its Ithaca office (607) 275-9487.