Two months after acquiring the historic Pitney Farm, Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Inc. (PMCF) is inviting the community to a public forum on the development of the 166-acre property, the last farm operating in the city of Saratoga Springs.
The board of directors of the new non-profit that now owns the Pitney Farm is seeking the community's input by hosting “Around the Silo: Designing the Future of Pitney Meadows Community Farm.” This public forum is set for Sunday, March 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Universal Preservation Hall, 25 Washington Street in Saratoga Springs.
Advance registration is requested. Find more details here.
PMCF’s purchase of the farm from the Pitney family in December was supported by the City of Saratoga Springs, which used $1.13 million from its Open Space Bond Fund to buy the development rights. Donations through fundraising efforts have reached $650,000 and volunteers are seeking to raise an additional $225,000 to pay off a bridge loan provided by Adirondack Trust.
On Tuesday night, the City Council voted unanimously to proceed with a review of PMCF's request for a zoning change on the property and to have the City take the lead on the SEQR environmental assessment.
“For five years, we’ve been envisioning what we could do with this remarkable property when the purchase was completed and a new nonprofit organization was established to fulfill it," said Sandy Arnold, PMCF president. “The community’s input will help us determine where best to focus our time and resources.”
Long-time open-space advocate and PMCF Advisory Council member Barbara Glaser will discuss the contextual history of the farm, while PMCF board member Katie Petronis will detail uses of the property that are permitted by the farm’s conservation easement. Mike Ingersoll, principal of the LA Group, will share an updated site plan illustrated with 3-D computer-generated images and discuss the process by which PMCF will proceed in its request for a zoning change from the city.
In two 15-minute breakout sessions, participants will be asked to share ideas and resources in areas of special interest, such as community gardens, educational programs, trails, building renovations, grant writing and fundraising, programmatic links with local schools and the YMCA, establishment of the Pitney Farm historical center, and the training of a new generation of sustainable farmers.