Merger results in the birth of Saratoga PLAN

Saratoga PLAN was formed in 2003 through a merger of the Saratoga Springs Open Space Project and the Land Trust of the Saratoga Region.

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Morack Farm

The conservation of Morack Farm was PLAN’s first easement in Charlton. The 24.70 acre property consists of forested ecosystems and agricultural fields and also contains a section of Alplaus Kill.

Spruce Mountain

A 100-acre parcel on the side of Spruce Mountain is purchased by PLAN to help protect public access to the hiking trail leading up to the historic fire tower on the summit. This project was undertaken in partnership with members of the Adirondack Mountain Club and the generosity of many private donors. The parcel falls within the Adirondack Park.

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Old Saratoga on the Hudson

Old Saratoga on the Hudson is a community based inter-municipal effort to develop a “Park” that connects a remarkable concentration of historical, scenic, natural, and recreational resources. The Hudson River is the connecting link among these resources in eastern Saratoga County and western Washington County. The geographic area that makes up Old Saratoga on the Hudson takes in some of the most beautiful, geologically important, and historically significant landscapes in our region. Old Saratoga on the Hudson is a natural complement to Saratoga PLAN’s mission of protecting our region’s scenic, natural, agricultural, and recreational resources.

Feast of the Fields

This annual fundraiser features a magical evening of delicious, fresh foods by local chefs using ingredients from area farms and producers. For the benefit of furthering conservation efforts in Saratoga County.

Galway Preserve

The Galway Preserve is a 50-acre property that was willed to Saratoga PLAN in 1996 by Marshall Desroches, and was transferred to PLAN as a preserve in 2005. The Preserve boasts ponds, a stream, several trails designed by Marshall Desroches and a somewhat naturalized evergreen plantation. The land was used for agriculture until the early 1950s, when the Desroches family started a Christmas tree farm on the property as the remnant stands of pines and firs suggest.

Ballston Creek Preserve established and conservation easement placed on Peterson Property

The 33-acre Ballston Creek Preserve contains one mile of rugged, marked looping trails, and lies close to the nearby Zim Smith Trail. It is known for its views of Great Blue Heron rookery.

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The Milton Preserve property is donated to Saratoga PLAN by Maryanna K. Milton

This preserve is primarily forested with Eastern white pine and American beech, and contains wetlands on portions of the property.

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Reilly Ridge Farm Conserved

PLAN’s first conservation easement in Halfmoon. This property is an active farm, and has been farmed by the Reilly family since 1909.

Saratoga County Green Infrastructure Plan

PLAN played a key role in bringing the need for a comprehensive Countywide planning effort to Saratoga County’s attention, with sustainability at the forefront. PLAN succeeded in effectively putting forth the desired components to be included in such an effort.
Green infrastructure is the deliberate creation of an interconnected system of natural lands, parks, waterways, and open spaces that can sustain Saratoga County’s environmental health, economy, and quality of life.

Kayaderosseras Creek Preserve and Thomas Property are conserved

The Kayaderosseras Creek Preserve is donated to Saratoga PLAN by the Thomas family along with a conservation easement on adjacent land.

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Friends of the kayaderosseras

Bog Meadow

PLAN acquires additional acreage, expanding the popular Meadow Brook Preserve.

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Manning Cove is donated to Saratoga PLAN by John Witt of Witt Construction, Inc.

Manning Cove Preserve is the largest undeveloped property along Saratoga Lake in Saratoga County. Mr. Witt was excited about this opportunity to protect such a large pristine area in the Town of Malta, one of the fastest growing communities in Saratoga County. The project was made possible in part by a grant through the NYS Conservation Partnership Program, a collaborative grant program between the NYS Environmental Protection Fund and the Land Trust Alliance.

The Hudson River Preserve property is donated to Saratoga PLAN by Sandra Moll

The Hudson River Preserve property lies adjacent to Hudson River and Saratoga National Historic Park. It is thought that militia farmers crossed from the East through this property during the Revolutionary war. It may also be the former site of a recruiting office during the Revolutionary war

Saratoga PLAN aids in collaboration Zim Smith Trail

This 9-mile trail stretches south from Ballston Spa to the City of Mechanicville along the old D&H railroad bed. It then crosses under the Northway and over Route 9, extending southwest of Round Lake. There is also a spur trail which roughly follows the old Malta Trolley line.

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Saratoga PLAN acquires conservation easement on the Larmon Property

This project protects important open space and habitat in the Fish Creek watershed and allows for the continuation of agricultural use of the land. It was supported by a grant from the Saratoga County Farmland and Open Space Program and funds from the Fish Creek Rod and Gun Club.

Saratoga PLAN purchases the Corbett Property from Kathleen Corbett and Joan Davis

This one-acre parcel in the Village of Victory along Fish Creek is considered of historical importance for its Revolutionary War fortification features. The project was made possible through a grant from the Saratoga County Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, as well as individual donations.

Round Lake Preserve

Saratoga PLAN completes its most complex land project, acquiring 57 acres on the eastern shore of Round Lake. The Round Lake Preserve includes 57 acres of wetlands, forests and fields purchased by Saratoga PLAN and 35 acres of lakefront purchased by the Town of Malta. The preserve protects critical habitat in the Round Lake/Anthony Kill watershed, especially important since it located less than one mile from the Luther Forest Technology Park. The acquisition was made possible thanks to commitments from the Town of Malta, Saratoga County Farmland and Open Space Program, the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, and generous donations from individuals.

Saratoga PLAN establishes a conservation easement at Creekside Farm

This 81.96-acre farm grows vegetable crops, pastures a small cow herd, and creates silage and hay. Approximately 25 acres are rented for crop production. Also present are areas of woodland and over 5,000 feet of frontage along the Snook Kill, a tributary of the Hudson River. With the conservation easement, the property will continue to be used for agricultural purposes and wildlife habitat.

An easement is placed on Ten Spring Woods by Saratoga PLAN

Through a joint effort by the City of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga PLAN, a 15.28-acre parcel of land known as Ten Springs Woods is placed under easement. A portion of the popular Spring Run Trail crosses through Ten Spring Woods.


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Hennig Preserve opens

Saratoga PLAN officially opens the 606-acre Hennig Preserve, its largest preserve – “a milestone for land conservation in Saratoga County.”

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Saratoga PLAN places a conservation easement on the Van Arnum Farm

The approximately 84.6-acre Van Arnum Farm consists primarily of agricultural, crop-producing land and also consists of forested woodlands. The Property contains approximately 27 total forested acres, and the high field where the cemetery area is located provides a view for many miles north so that the Lake George basin can be seen. The area is now farmland forever.

Saratoga PLAN launches Nature Passports Program

This program makes an effort to encourage families to explore nature preserves throughout the county.

PLAN provides pocket-sized passports to children and families. The Preserve Passports include descriptions, driving directions, and an area for children to stamp as they visit each preserve. The stamps are located at each preserve in hidden “letterboxes” and can be located by following posted clues at each preserve.
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Rowland Hollow Creek Preserve Opens

This preserve is part of an innovative conservation subdivision project in conjunction with the new Meadow Vista Estates development. A wooded trail system invites people to safely explore the preserve while the woodlands protect wildlife habitat and the unpaved lands protect the water quality and wetlands surrounding Rowland Hollow Creek.

Project partners include Charlew Builders and the City of Saratoga Springs. The Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs provided funding for the trail improvements, entryway, and signage built by PLAN staff, volunteers and contractors.

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46 acres of Wing Road Farm are placed under conservation easement by Saratoga PLAN

Wing Road Farm was built in 1880 and was purchased from the estate of Alice Kremp in 2004 by Linell Lands, Inc. Alice Kremp lived on the farm until her death at age 102 and the proceeds of her estate went entirely to the Jane Goodall Foundation. Barbara Linell Glaser and her husband Paul Zachos established the small development company, Linell Lands Inc., for the purpose of acquiring special places for unique purposes. Wing Road Farm was purchased because Linell Lands wanted to preserve local farmland and model a different style of development that conserved traditional agricultural uses, rural scenic vistas while also demonstrating a profitable business model.

The 128-acre Foster Sheep Farm is placed under conservation easement by Saratoga PLAN

The pastoral Foster Sheep Farm lies within one of Saratoga County’s working Farmland Core Areas, and is also located in an Agricultural Core Area of the County’s Green Infrastructure Plan. The property is approximately one and a half miles north of the Hamlet of Bacon Hill, with the Hudson River to the immediate east. The Foster farm has maintained agricultural operations for over 60 years. Currently, the farm houses nearly 60 sheep and also raises hay. The wool from the sheep is used for spinning and is sold within the old homestead on premises. The Fosters also raise meat. The location of the farm along the Hudson River helps protect water quality by serving as a buffer while also providing space for sheep and cattle. The Foster Sheep Farm consists of agricultural land, woodlands and classified wetlands, two streams, and a pond.

Saratoga Springs Greenbelt Trail Feasibility Study is published

The Saratoga Springs Greenbelt Trail is a visionary 24-mile shared-use path that forms a continuous loop connecting the City of Saratoga Springs. This project has the potential to transform the Saratoga community by creating a new green infrastructure for active transportation and recreation.

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The Saratoga Siege Trail is opened

Support for the creation of this trail came in many forms from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust, the American Battlefield Protection Program, the Bender Family Foundation, Brookfield Power, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, Greenman-Pederson, Inc., NYSOPRHP, Saratoga National Historical Park, Siena College, Saratoga County, the Town of Saratoga, the Village of Victory, and the RBC Foundation. It is PLAN’s hope that the Saratoga Siege Trail will draw and educate visitors for years to come.

Coldbrook Preserve is Opened

It is quite fitting that the Coldbrook Preserve was opened on Earth Day. Creating significant buffer to wetland habitat for the threatened Blanding’s Turtle, this 64-acre preserve has close to two miles of marked trails through wetlands and towering pines along the Wilton/Northumberland border. Once farmland, the property has now regenerated back to forest with the Cold Brook stream running through.

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Saratoga PLAN completes an analysis of the landscape of Saratoga County

The Landscape of Saratoga County project was designed to help people start thinking about larger-scale landscape-level conservation and to take a bird’s eye view of Saratoga County using the data provided to help them understand places they haven’t personally experienced.
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Saratoga PLAN places a Conservation Easement on the Patricia S. Whitesell Preserve

The 105.22 acre Whitesell property in the Town of Galway falls within a Natural Systems area identified in Saratoga County’s Green Infrastructure Plan and is also located within a corridor for the proposed eventual Long Path trail extension. The preserve combines a rich agricultural history with a recovering forest consisting of a mix of wet woods, hemlock forests, and an upland deciduous and pine forest. A 2-acre pond area located in the northeastern section of the Property appears to be a result of beaver activity and contains significant wildlife including many birds, dragonflies, and frogs.
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Saratoga PLAN receives Accreditation status

PLAN submitted extensive documentation and applied for accreditation to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. After a rigorous, year-long review processes, on December 17, 2014, PLAN was awarded accreditation by the Commission, one of only 285 land trusts (out of 1,700) from across the country that has been awarded accreditation since the fall of 2008.

This recognition was the culmination of many years of striving for and upholding the highest standards of excellence in order to best serve the conservation needs of the Saratoga County region.

Saratoga PLAN conserves the Wm. H. Buckley Farm in the Town of Ballston

In the Town of Ballston, the Sacco Family permanently protected the 252 acre Wm. H. Buckley Farm via a conservation easement. Purchased in 2013 by Mark and Elizabeth Sacco, the former Cappiello Dairy and Lake Ridge Farm have a long standing agricultural history for the community of Ballston. The conservation of this farm guarantees that the farm’s livestock operation, onsite farm store, café, butcher shop and agri-tourism efforts remain an active part of the community.

Saratoga PLAN places a Conservation Easement on the Cocozzo Family Farm

In the Town of Stillwater, the Cocozzo Family protected 264 acres of land that borders the Saratoga National Historic Park and a portion of the Old Champlain Canal. The conservation of the Cocozzo Family’s property ensures the continued agricultural production of the land that is currently leased for crops by Welcome Stock Farm.

The Round Lake Preserve is opened

After nearly a decade of planning, Saratoga PLAN and the Town of Malta opened the Round Lake Preserve, located off of Route 67 in Malta. This land, bursting with a diverse ecosystem of wetlands and farm fields has been drawing people for thousands of years. Now with public access guaranteed, this new preserve will continue to draw people to the site, to fish and paddle; to view wildlife and study the natural world; and to get lost in the beauty that this special place still offers, now more than 6,000 years after its first discovery.

The Spruce Mountain Trail & Fire Tower are re-opened

This ~1.2 mile trail crosses properties owned by NYS, Saratoga PLAN, and Lyme Timber. PLAN acquired its 100 acre block in 2004 because the organization knew back then that the property was going to be a critical piece of the puzzle in maintaining public access up the mountain. The views of the county from atop this fire tower just can’t be beat, so for PLAN this project was especially significant; it was more than just about opening land up to the public, it was also an opportunity to save one of the only places where people can see the greater landscape and take in just how beautiful and special our county truly is.

709 acres are added to Moreau Lake State Park

Saratoga County received a tremendous gift in its northern reaches when New York State made the decision to transfer 709 acres of the 1,600 acres shuttered McGregor Prison property to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as an addition to Moreau Lake State Park. Saratoga PLAN, NY Audubon, Open Space Institute, and local and state officials banded together to encourage the Governor’s office and the four state agencies involved to transfer the land to the park. The property, located in the Palmertown Range Conservation Area, includes the Grant’s Cottage Historic site and Lake Bonita and is a critical link for the trail planned from Moreau to Saratoga Springs.

Saratoga PLAN places a Conservation Easement on the former Hawkwood Estate

PLAN worked with the Taylor family to place a conservation easement on the 250 acre former Hawkwood Estate, which was then transferred to the Town of Ballston as a “forever wild” park. Frank W. Schidzick, Jr. left a bequest in his will to create this public amenity, for which the people of Ballston will forever be grateful to him.

PLAN recieves major stewardship gift

Saratoga PLAN was awarded a multi-year grant of $125,000 for the stewardship of conserved lands within the Galway Central School District from the Dockstader Charitable Trust. The Galway Central School District covers a large portion of Saratoga County, and includes 40% of PLAN’s protected lands. This support will be critical in ensuring that Saratoga PLAN has the proper resources to care for our conserved lands in perpetuity. PLAN is both humbled by the trust’s generosity, and proud to have a mission that benefits the greater Galway community, and all Saratoga County communities.

PLAN receives $3.1M to permanently conserve six farms

Saratoga PLAN was the recipient of $3.1M in grant awards from the state Farmland Protection Implementation Program for the conservation of seven farm operations on six properties encompassing 961 acres of prime farmland in Saratoga County. The awards, announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, will be used to purchase and permanently retire development rights on the six farms, ensuring that their fertile fields will be available for farming for future generations.

PLAN conserves 59-acre farm in Galway

Saratoga PLAN finalized a perpetual conservation easement to preserve the 59+/- acre Carpenter Farm, located in the Town of Galway. Property owner Donald Carpenter donated the easement in order to conserve the land for agriculture, forestry, wildlife habitat, water resource protection, scenic beauty and public recreation. The property is situated in a rural historic landscape with scenic charm.
Carpenter Farm Conserved

Rhodes property expands Milton Preserve

Harold (Dusty) and Arlene Rhodes donated to Saratoga PLAN 23 acres of forested land in Galway that will connect the Milton Preserve to the south and the recently acquired conservation lands on the Carpenter Farm to the north. Together, these properties could provide a natural corridor for the proposed extension of the Long Path trail, eventually extending from New Jersey all the way to the Adirondacks. Saratoga PLAN will steward these lands, with plans for creating public trails across all three adjoining properties.

Fiddle-i-Fee farm conserved

Saratoga PLAN helped conserve another beautiful and productive farm in fast-growing Saratoga County. With a high percentage of “prime” soils, beautiful views toward the Hudson River, and nearby productive dairy farms, the 144-acre Fiddle-i-Fee Farm in Bacon Hill, Town of Northumberland, was permanently conserved with the aid of local, county and state funding. To make this possible, Saratoga PLAN worked with property owners Cathy and Neil Roberts, who bargain sold the conservation easement on the property.

Fiddle-i-Fee Farm Conserved

405 Acres Conserved

In early 2018 Saratoga PLAN finalized perpetual conservation easements on three adjacent scenic and productive farm properties in the Town of West Charlton, totaling more than 405 acres. Landowners Dawn and Dorothy Szurek sold a conservation easement on two farms of more than 315 acres, and Gary and Anne Vanderhorst sold an easement on an adjacent farm of close to 90 acres. Saratoga PLAN will steward these actively farmed properties in perpetuity, preserving open space, productive farm and forestland, and providing scenic enjoyment for all. These properties bring PLAN’s total of conserved lands in the county to about 4,985 acres.

405 Acres Conserved

220-Acre Wildwood Farms Protected

Wildwood Farms, owned by Allen D. (Wayne) Wood and Wood Family Trust, is now protected for scenic enjoyment by the public and for agricultural use by a permanent conservation easement that will be forever monitored by Saratoga PLAN. Wildwood Farms supplies 12,000 bales of straw to the racetrack in Saratoga Springs, and another 1,400 bales to local thoroughbred horse farms. This project was supported by Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement funding from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.


89 Acres Donated by Donald Tooker

Retired Farmer Donald Tooker generously donated a conservation easement to permanently protect 89 acres of productive farmland in the heart of the Town of Wilton. The farm is used for growing alfalfa for the Kings Ransom Dairy Farm and vegetables for the Vincek Farm. The views of open fields from busy roads, replenishment and cleansing of groundwater reserves, stormwater absorption, clean air, and climate moderation are a few of the other public benefits this protected farmland will continue to provide the community in years to come. Grants from Saratoga County and the Town of Wilton, combined with private donations, funded transaction costs so the easement donation could be accepted.

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Bog Meadow Brook Trail Re-opened after Renovation

The beloved and 25-year-old Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail reopened in November, culminated a season of hard work. Renovations included: creating a new spur trail at Meadow Brook Road, extending bog bridging to traverse wet areas, extensive raising and smoothing of trail surfaces, numerous drainage improvements, and new additions to prevent flooding caused by an active beaver population. The renovations were partially paid for by the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s Conservation Partnership Program, the city of Saratoga Springs, donations from the 3M Company and Stewart’s Shops, discounted materials from D.A. Collins Companies and Curtis Lumbar Co., equipment form TRAK Equipment Rental, and lots of labor and engineering from Munter Enterprises, Foothills Tree Service, and D.M. Wardell Excavation.

Innovative Partnership Preserves Featherbed Lane Farm

With the help of many partners and funders, including the Local Farms Fund, American Farmland Trust, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Farmland Protection Program, and Saratoga County, PLAN purchased and extinguished the development rights to the 60 acres of farm and woodland of Featherbed Lane Farm while also protecting the farm’s affordability for future farmers.

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Wm. H. Buckley Farm PHASE II

In April, Saratoga PLAN finalized a second easement on Wm. H Buckley Farm, a working farm situated on a picturesque ridge overlooking Ballston Lake, on Route 50 in the Town of Ballston. Phase II added 63 acres to the 252 acres conserved in 2015, for a total of 315 acres which will be protected for agricultural uses in perpetuity.

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464 Acres Conserved – Largest Farm Conservation Project

Saratoga PLAN completed its largest farmland conservation project to date. Four hundred sixty-four acres of the Barber Bros. Dairy Farm in the Town of Northumberland is now conserved in perpetuity. What began in 1939 as a small farm run by two brothers selling eggs and offering custom field work, Barber Bros. has developed into a successful 1,200-acre dairy farm, currently supporting a milking herd of 650 cows.

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PLAN Organizes Inaugural Apple Blossom 5k Run

Saratoga PLAN partnered with Saratoga Apple for a one-of-a-kind race. Participants ran up and down the hilly Schuylerville orchards and weaved through hundreds of blooming apple trees, earning a cider for crossing the finish line. The event got the community together for a unique outdoor activity and raised awareness for supporting local agriculture and efforts by Saratoga PLAN.

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PLAN Awards 6 Conservation Heroes

Conservation Heroes are individuals or entities recognized for their extraordinary efforts related to conservation.

This year’s efforts ranged from dedicated volunteer service to permanently conserving farmland, woodland, wildlife habitat, or creating public access to outdoor spaces.

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Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens


In the Town of Malta, 129 acres of land owned and operated by Dave Bowman of Malta Ridge Orchard and Gardens were protected. This farm has a long standing agricultural history for the community and has a thriving future with the farm’s u-pick, and farm store filled with naturally grown vegetables and fruits remaining an active part of the community.

80 Acres Conserved on Irish Hill

Saratoga PLAN, in collaboration with Rick Burke and The Nature Conservancy, signed into agreement the Burke Forest Conservation Project. The conservation easement permanently conserved just over 80 acres of forest habitat in the Town of Saratoga, on what is locally known as Irish Hill.

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PLAN Awarded $500,000 for Sarah B. Foulke Friendship Trails System

The gift from Sarah B. Foulke Charitable Fund is the largest private cash gift ever made to the 17-year old conservation organization. The donation will underwrite the planning, design and stewardship of more than 20 miles of publicly accessible, permanently conserved trails in the 40,500-acre Southern Palmertown Range.

The Drumm Farm Conserved

On Monday, November 23, 2020 Saratoga PLAN conserved the Drumm Farm, 170 acres of farmland in the Town of Saratoga. The land is now permanently protected from development and will forever be accessible for agricultural use. Partial funding for the project was provided by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Read More

174 Acres of Forever Farmland – Saratoga PLAN conserves Hanehan Family Dairy Lands

Saratoga PLAN has permanently protected 174 acres of the Hanehan Family Dairy in the Town of Saratoga. The conservation of this fertile farmland means it will be forever available for farming and is protected from conversion to non-farm uses. Read More.


Saratoga PLAN Conserves 51-Acre Third-Generation Family Farm in Town of Northumberland

Northumberland, NY – Saratoga PLAN has permanently protected the Bolesh Farm, 51 acres of open agricultural fields, woodlands, and vegetative buffer lining the Snook Kill in the Town of Northumberland. The conservation of this fertile land means it will be forever available for farming and is protected from conversion to non-farm uses. Read More

LeClair Family Donates 127 Acres to Saratoga PLAN for New Curtis Preserve Located in the Town of Corinth, New York 

In 1986, Patricia LeClair and her husband built a house on nine acres of land in Corinth that they bought from neighbors, Jack Curtis and Mary Curtis. Jack, Mary’s brother, was an old friend of Patricia’s husband. Over the years, Mary and Patricia became close and Patricia frequently walked in the woods that spread across both the LeClair and Curtis’ properties. After Jack and Mary passed away, the Curtis’ property was left to the LeClair family. Read More

126 Acres of Historic Brookdale Farm Protected in Perpetuity

Saratoga PLAN completed two conservation easements with the Pott and VanVorsts families permanently protecting 126 acres of farmland in the Saratoga County Town of Ballston. Conservation of this fertile farmland means it will be forever available for farming and critical wildlife habitat for generations to come.

Both easements include and originally part of the Brookdale Farm, which originated circa 1835 by the McKnight family, a relative of the Potts by marriage four generations prior. Read More

Saratoga PLAN Protects 66 Acres of Farmland in Galway, New York

Saratoga PLAN assisted a local farming family to permanently protect 66 acres of farmland through an agricultural conservation easement. This easement conserves viable agricultural land and woodlands by preventing the conversion of the Property to non-farm uses. Read More

Historic Ropitzky Family Farms Conserved

Local land trust Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature) is happy to announce the permanent protection of the historic 221-acre Ropitzky family farms located in the Town of Stillwater. This land, once under intense development pressure, has been permanently protected under conservation easements held by Saratoga PLAN. The conserved land has a rich agricultural history, dating back to the pre-Revolutionary War era. Learn More