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Genesee Land Trust Awarded $1,083,707 To Preserve Farm Land in Wayne County

May 26, 2010 | Rochester, NY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Gay Mills
Executive Director
Genesee Land Trust
585-256-2130
gmills@geneseelandtrust.org

Rochester, NY- Genesee Land Trust, the Monroe and Wayne County based land and waterway preservation organization has recently learned that it has been awarded $1,083,707 in grant funding from the Farm and Ranch Protection Program, (FRPP) a United States Department of Agriculture Program, to support the purchase of conservation easements (development rights) on four farms located in Wayne County, NY. The grant application made by the local non-profit was evaluated by the National Resources Conservation Services winning federal funds in what was a highly competitive application process.

The four farms whose development rights will be held by Genesee Land Trust are located in various towns within Wayne County. This grant award will add 1100 acres of preserved land to the 2000 acres of productive farm lands currently protected in perpetuity, by the Trust.

One of the properties, Alasa Farms, is the most ambitious land protection project the Genesee Land Trust has undertaken.  Overlooking Sodus Bay, the property has not only scenic and farmland value (crop land, orchards) but is also an important migratory bird stopover and nesting area, with woodlands and tributary creeks of Sodus Bay. Alasa Farms is also home to the Cracker Box Palace, a non-profit no-kill farm animal shelter and rehabilitation center that is greatly loved and appreciated by people throughout the region.

The FRPP grant will help to secure easements on the Albright Farm in the Town of Ontario, the DeMinck Farm in the Town of Walworth and the Mason Farm in the Town of Williamson, all of which have received grant awards from New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in partnerships with individual towns.  Jim Hoffman, Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Williamson says that the FRPP grant funding which will protect four Wayne County Farms is particularly welcome news.

“This type of funding is crucial for the preservation of our county’s largest industry – agriculture.Alasa Farms is one of the jewels of Wayne County, with its scenic beauty, natural habitats and rich farmland. Cracker Box Palace, which is located there, has long provided a service to our residents by sheltering and rehabilitating animals when they had no place to go.” Hoffman added that “a strong agricultural base positions us favorably within the emerging sustainable global economy. We greatly appreciate the role of the Genesee Land Trust in helping to secure federal funding to protect and preserve irreplaceable farmland in Williamson, Walworth, Ontario and Sodus.”

The FRPP award is a giant first step in securing the preservation of Alasa Farms. Of the $1,083, 707, in grant revenue, $607,000 will be used for the Alasa Farms project. Additional funding is being sought and fundraising by the Genesee Land Trust has begun in earnest. Gay Mills, executive director, is thrilled by the news that all four farms will receive funding. Further, Mills says she is committed to the campaign to preserve Alasa Farms – a North Coast treasure. “The Genesee Land Trust board of directors and staff are energized by the winning of the FRPP grant and welcome the work that lays ahead in completing this major north coast farmland protection project. We are confident of the continued support of our membership, our friends and the greater community.”

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