The Osterhoudt family began farming this property located in the Town of Marbletown, Ulster County, in the early eighteenth century and has been a careful steward of the land for nearly three hundred years. In 2008, OSI secured a conservation easement on 95 acres of prime agricultural land belonging to Claude and Holly Osterhoudt.
The easement allows the continued use of the existing farm complex, prohibits subdivision, and restricts the construction of additional structures. While the farm has been a successful beef operation for decades, the funds generated by the easement will allow the Osterhoudt’s to make substantial capital improvements to their farm, helping them face the economic challenges of farmers in the Hudson River Valley.
NYS Route 213, a highway that runs through the Rondout Valley, bisects the Osterhoudt Farm, making the farm’s extensive frontage extremely attractive for residential development that would have profoundly disrupted the majestic views of the Shawangunk Ridge and Catskill Mountains that define this region.
The farm also sits atop the aquifer serving the Town of Marbletown’s principal drinking water supply and is located within the Marbletown Natural Heritage Plan’s core farming zone, making preservation of the land a high priority for the entire community. This conservation easement is part of OSI’s Two Valleys Campaign.
Demonstrating their support for land protection, voters in the Town of Marbletown approved a $2 million bond act to preserve open space in November 2006. The bond act campaign prominently featured the Osterhoudt Farm, known throughout the community. Since that time, OSI staff has assisted town officials in creating the requisite legislation and open space program to use these bond act funds most effectively.
OSI continues to work with the Osterhoudt family to protect the remaining acreage of their farm, an additional 120-acre parcel also located in the Town of Marbletown along Route 213.