Saratoga County

More than 405 acres in West Charlton to be conserved

Saratoga PLAN will take stewardship for properties

WEST CHARLTON — Saratoga PLAN, the land trust of Saratoga County, inked a deal Thursday to conserve more than 405 acres on three farms in the town of Charlton. 

The nonprofit land trust’s goal is to preserve natural habitats to maintain Saratoga County’s rural character and scenic beauty. The organization also promotes an extensive trail network that includes trails on 10 public nature preserves. 

The recently announced agreements limit certain types of uses or prevent development on the outlined parcels, according to the Nature Conservancy. 

Landowners Dawn and Dorothy Szurek sold a conservation easement on two farms — totaling more than 315 acres — and Gary and Anne Vanderhorst sold an easement on an adjacent farm of close to 90 acres. 

Saratoga PLAN will take stewardship for the properties in perpetuity.

“We are so grateful to the Szureks and the Vanderhorsts for preserving their productive farms forever, and for helping to feed our growing population while maintaining West Charlton’s scenic beauty for the public to enjoy,” said Saratoga PLAN Executive Director Maria Trabka, in a prepared statement.  

The Szurek family said they would use a portion of the proceeds to help improve the farm. 

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets provided partial funding through a competitive process to purchase the conservation easements. 

Mike Horn, Saratoga PLAN’s conservation director, said the organization is working on seven more farmland conservation projects, which will add more than 1,100 acres to the conserved land total in the county. 

These properties bring Saratoga PLAN’s total of conserved lands in the county to about 4,985 acres.

Those interested in protecting their farmland should attend one of Saratoga PLAN’s Farmland Conservation Workshops, the next of which will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 19 in Schuylerville Town Hall, 12 Spring St., Schuylerville. Another will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 22 at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 50 W. High St., Ballston Spa. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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