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Conservation News: Water Mill Farmland Restored

Conservation News
August 24, 2017

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

Ann LaWall Restores Residential Property Back to Farmland in Water Mill

We are so pleased to announce today the protection of land that will be re-connected to agriculture as you enter Water Mill! A situation that was once tragic, has turned to a positive for farmland conservation. Ann LaWall lost her home to fire in 2016. Instead of rebuilding, Ann decided to reconnect her land to agriculture. The property, just under an acre at the western tip of Seven Ponds Road, has now been protected forever for food crops. We thank Ann and her family for having the vision to see a conservation future for their land.

The Trust purchased the property from Ann on April 19th, simultaneously selling the development rights to the Town of Southampton. The property will now be reconnected to the farming community!   

“From what was a tragedy has sprouted hope for the future,” said Ann LaWall. “I am very pleased to have been able to work with the Trust and the Town to see the permanent protection of my property and to see it reunited with the neighboring farmland.”

We thank the Town of Southampton for joining us on this conservation effort. Since 2015, the Town has committed not only to protecting farmland — which it has done for decades — but now additionally protecting farmland for food. Starting with the Danilevsky project on Head of Pond Road, the Town has conserved over 200 acres with this new protection tool that conserves not only the resource, but makes farmland affordable and accessible to farmers who grow food crops.

In June, the Trust announced the sale of this land to local farmers, brothers Tim and Hank Kraszewski — and are also happy to add that the land is already back in agricultural production — now representing over 27 acres of contiguous farmland!

The Trust pioneered the enhanced restriction tools that were applied by the Town of Southampton in 2010, using them for the first time in the protection of the Pike Farmstand property in Sagaponack. Most recently the enhanced restrictions have been applied not only in Southampton, but also in Southold (through a donation by Russ McCall) and in East Hampton (with the recent protection of the Amagansett Farmers Market).

Thank you to Ann for seeing a positive come from the tragic loss of her home and for choosing conservation. We wish the Kraszewski’s much success in their farming operations. The beautiful view of farmland from the corner of David Whites Lane and Seven Ponds Road/Flying Point Road is spectacular.

We look forward to seeing what’s growing on the fields in the years to come.