This year, Saratoga PLAN is proud to honor 11 individuals as Conservation Heroes in recognition of their extraordinary efforts related to conservation.

These efforts range from permanently conserving farmland and forests to remarkable volunteer work. Not only do the conservation efforts vary, but the reasons for doing so do, too. Whether they wish to ensure farmland is accessible for future generations, protect wildlife habitat, or provide local recreation opportunities, Conservation Heroes partner with PLAN because of their love of the land. Saratoga PLAN is grateful to have been their trusted community partner in their conservation journeys. 

Ruth & Fritz Drumm  
Drumm Farm, Village of Schuylerville | 170 acres 

Ruth Drumm and her late husband Fritz’s love of the farm and farm life served as the inspiration to protect the land. Located near the Saratoga Monument and Victory Woods, Drumm Farm boasts primarily fertile soils for farming as well as some forests and wetlands that provide wildlife habitat. The land is now permanently protected from development and will forever be accessible for agricultural use.  Currently, Drumm rents the farmland to Koval Bros. Dairy who grows hay and field crops on the property in support of their regional dairy operation, which supplies Stewart’s Shops with fresh local milk.  Funding for the project was provided by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and a donation from Ruth Drumm.

Charles and Barbara Hanehan
Hanehan Family Dairy, Town of Saratoga | 117 acres 

Clifford and Kathleen Hanehan 
Hanehan Family Dairy, Town of Saratoga | 57 acres  

The Hanehan Family Dairy is a 5th generation dairy farm based in the Town of Saratoga. Charles & Barbara and Clifford & Kathleen approached Saratoga PLAN with an interest in conserving some of their farmland to help ensure access to local food supply and also keep the rural character of Saratoga intact. The permanent protection of their farmland translates to deep roots, love of the land, open space and family legacy. The land features fertile soils for farming as well as woodland habitat. The land acts as an excellent rainwater capture system, replenishing groundwater and preventing flooding. Funding to protect this farmland came from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets as well as donations by Charles & Barbara Hanehan and Clifford & Kathleen Hanehan.

Eric and Noelle Smassanow 
Middle Line Farm, Town of Milton | 25 acres

Eric and Noelle, and their children David and Lauri Smassanow, have conserved their 25-acre family farm, established in 1981 in the Town of Milton. The Smassanow Family truly loves the idea that their land will forever be a farm and play a role in the future of agriculture in Saratoga County. They enjoy sharing the bounty of vegetables, fruits and meats they produce with their co-op members. The Smassanow family is grateful for the work of Saratoga PLAN, Ballston Country Club, our co-op members and the general community for their support and cooperation that has made this project a reality. This project was funded by a Saratoga County Open Space and Farmland Protection Grant and by a significant contribution from the Smassanow Family.

Michele Peters & June Corbett
Half-A-Chance Farm, Town of Northumberland | 75 acres

Michele Peters and her late mother June Corbett have long wished to conserve Half-A-Chance Farm in the Town of Northumberland. Half-A-Chance Farm boards retired show and racehorses, takes in horses for lay-ups, keeps a brood mare and produces hay. The 75-acre property boasts amazing views and fertile soils for farming. Adjacent to other protected farmland, this project is part of a 600+ acre block of land that will be forever available for farming in the Bacon Hill area of Saratoga County. This project was funded by NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and by a significant contribution from Michele Peters.

Russell Brennan 
GIS (Geographic Information System) Volunteer

What started as a Google Search to find local hiking trails grew into a unique partnership between Russell Brennan and Saratoga PLAN. As he juggled working a full-time job from home with caring for his 5-year-old daughter, Brennan found the time to dedicate over 60 hours of volunteer time to PLAN over the last year. Not only did he consult with staff on better understanding their Geographic Information System (GIS) software, but his expertise was also instrumental in the trail planning process of the Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Tails in the Southern ADK Foothills. He even designed a tool for planning trail layouts that PLAN can use well into the future. 


Every penny counts when it comes to protecting the lands that nourish your body and soul.