ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Rockland County Legislators voted Wednesday to support the $1 million restoration of the historic New World Dutch barn at the Cropsey Farm, property off South Little Tor Road.
Rockland County and Clarkstown formed a partnership to buy the property from the Cropsey family in 2006 with the understanding that it would be preserved for open space and protected from development.
The county has 61 percent ownership and Clarkstown has 39 percent.
"This action will preserve an important part of Rockland's agriculture past and provide for the county's environmental and recreational future," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said as he signed the measure on Thursday.
The agreement calls for $1 million in funding to restore the Revolutionary War-era barn.
Clarkstown will pay $390,000 of the cost, with the county covering the rest in the 2017 Capital Projects budget.
"Not that long ago there were farms and barns all over Rockland as most people made their living from the land," Day said. "Now we have to make an effort to preserve what is left of our agricultural past and safeguard undeveloped land for the future."
The parcel remains under the till – with the non-profit Rockland Farm Alliance busy planting and harvesting what is referred to as the Cropsey Community Farm.
Residents from all over the county take part in the community farm run by the Alliance.
"Cropsey Farm has meant too much to our community to allow it to fall by the wayside,” Legislator Alden Wolfe said. “This historic barn is a tangible piece of the history of Rockland County and therefore our heritage – not only of our county, but of our nation.”
There are numerous activities at the property that teach residents about Rockland's farming past and show how agriculture can be an important part of the future.
The first step of the renovation involves erecting a high tunnel similar to a greenhouse to use as a temporary barn.
After the barn restoration is completed the equipment in the temporary barn will go into the new barn and the temporary barn will be used to grow produce.
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