East of Hudson: Adapting to Change

East of Hudson: Adapting to Change

The Croton Watershed is a diverse and dynamic environment. Changes in land use, development pressure and rising land values present significant challenges to East of Hudson farms. The Watershed Agricultural Council works with our farm partners to provide technical assistance, implement best management practices and promote the economic viability of farm operations.

Akindale Farm, located on 800 acres of pristine land in Pawling, NY, joined the Watershed Agricultural Council in 1997 as one of three “pilot farms” for the East of Hudson Program. Akindale’s reputation as one the top thoroughbred breeding operation and training facilities in New York State and the farm’s commitment to environmental conservation helped establish WAC’s presence in the Croton watershed. In 2006, the Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue was established at the farm to provide a home for the horses that are no longer able to race. Today, the focus of farm’s operation has shifted from breeding and training to providing a nationally recognized safe haven for thoroughbreds.

The East of Hudson Program has implemented 26 BMPs at Akindale Farm, including a riparian cover, a manure compost facility, a stream crossing, as well as a nutrient management plan and prescribed grazing plans. The East of Hudson team implemented an innovative solar watering system to provide water to remote fields, enabling the farm to exclude the horses from a water course. This fall, Akindale Farm participated in the Watershed Agricultural Council’s new Economic Viability Micro Grant Program and has been awarded funding to develop the farm’s marketing and outreach efforts.

The East of Hudson Agricultural Program has adapted to challenges within the Croton Watershed to meet the needs of our farm partners, preserve agricultural landscapes and protect drinking water quality, and will continue to do so for years to come.

Read more of the 2018 Annual Report here.