East of Hudson: Fostering a Strong Stewardship Ethic in the Croton Watershed

East of Hudson: Fostering a Strong Stewardship Ethic in the Croton Watershed

The East of Hudson (EOH) Watershed spans Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester and Fairfield Counties, the most densely populated areas of the New York City Watershed. Agriculture in these counties are under pressure from changes in land uses, development, urban expansion, rising land values and loss of agricultural infrastructure. In this challenging environment, the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) plays a critical role in providing technical assistance, implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs) and creating a support network for farms.

Haviland Hollow Farm is located on 225 acres in Patterson, NY in the heart of the Great Swamp. This historic Putnam County farm has indoor and outdoor riding arenas, stables, boarding facilities, two polo fields, riding trails and is home to 120 horses.

Haviland Hollow became a member of the EOH Agricultural Program in 2010 and has implemented 13 BMPs to protect the East Branch Croton River and the important wetlands surrounding the farm. The EOH Program has implemented two manure pads and heavy use areas to protect local waterways and allow for animal waste to be exported from the farm. The WAC has also created additional pad-docks to improve grazing practices, a solar watering facility, a stream crossing, riparian herbaceous cover, as well as a nutrient management plan and a grazing plan to improve pasture rotation. This year EOH implemented an access road and additional structures for water control to ensure the farm has year-round access to all their pastures.

In addition to the farm’s environmental conservation stewardship and their role as a leader in the EOH in equestrian community, Haviland Hollow hosts philanthropic events in support of other NYC Watershed farms. This year marks the 10th Annual Haviland Hollow Charity Cup benefiting Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, an EOH Agricultural Program participant which provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to people with special needs, veterans and at-risk individuals.

The East of Hudson Agricultural Program continues to evolve to provide crucial support for our farm partners protect drinking water quality, preserve working farms in the Watershed and foster a strong stewardship ethic.

Read the 2019 Annual Report here.