I have been working to save Gardiner’s farms and open space since 2004. We have accomplished a lot so far, but there’s much more to do to protect the town’s special, rural character and its unique, natural environment.
In 2005 and 2006, I was a member of the committee which wrote Gardiner’s plan for protecting farms and open space. Next, I worked with town board member Nadine Lemmon to draft Gardiner’s open space law. Then in 2007 I was selected as the first chair of the open space commission, which identified the Kiernan and Hess family farms as the most important properties to be protected from development. Over the next 5 years, I worked with the Open Space Commission, the Open Space Institute, the New York Department of Agriculture, and private foundations to raise the money to save these working farms.
Both farms, totaling over 200 acres, now are protected by conservation easements, which prohibit any future development. This was accomplished without any increase in Gardiner’s taxes.
But there’s much more to be done. we should begin by restarting the Open Space Commission, rebuilding relationships with Gardiner’s farmers and other large land owners, and reviving relationships with funding sources.
Vote for Warren Wiegand on November 7 to protect Gardiner’s farms and open space, and its unique, rural character.