Dick Updaw is pictured in front of one of the barns on his farm. Submitted photo

Genesee Land Trust announced that it has permanently protected 59 acres of prime farmland at Updaw Farm in Rush, NY with a permanent conservation easement. Funds for the project came from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Farmland Protection Implementation Grant (FPIG) program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).

Updaw Farm is located on Route 15 in the Town of Rush near Honeoye Creek and the Lehigh Valley Trail. The Lehigh Valley Trail, a 22-mile multi-purpose recreational trail, forms the property boundary to the south. The farm produces hay and provides a home for horses, donkeys, and goats.

Farming began on the land in 1851, with 4 different farm families working the land until it was purchased by Dick Updaw in 1978. Dick continues to work a portion of his land for his own animals and rents the rest to a local farmer. He is a Wildlife Rehabilitator, licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and is often caring for rescue animals.

The main barn on Dick’s farm is a Wells Barn built in 1916 by J.T. Wells & Sons from Scottsville, NY. As Dick says, “it is my pride and joy.” He is a member of a Historic Barns of J.T. Wells & Sons group and enjoys talking about his barn while giving tours.

Dick’s commitment to farmland protection is strong. “It is my intention to keep this farm as a working, productive one in perpetuity; development is out of the question for me.”
Conservation easements are voluntary legal agreements that permanently limit future land use in order to protect the land’s conservation values. They restrict development of the property and protect the unique character of the land. Farmland subject to conservation easements remain in private ownership.

Genesee Land Trust preserves and protects natural lands and waterways that enhance the quality of life in the Greater Rochester region – providing wildlife habitat, locally grown food, and connections to nature – for everyone. Located along Lake Ontario and centered on the City of Rochester, Genesee Land Trust serves Monroe and Wayne Counties and portions of adjacent counties. This region is a mix of urban, suburban, and rural communities. By working cooperatively with land owners and local communities, Genesee Land Trust has protected over 5600 acres of land in the region.

Genesee Land Trust and Dick Updaw invite the community to join them as they celebrate the permanent protection of the Updaw Farm with s’mores, wagon rides, and hot chocolate. The family-friendly celebration will be held December 8, 2019 from 2-4pm. For more details and to register go to https://bit.ly/34rRNuw.

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