Story by Sophia Perez | Photos by Cathleen Duffy
After the 166-acre Pitney Farm was purchased by Pitney Meadows Community Farm, Inc. for just under $2.5 million, preserving the city’s last working farm, the community celebrated with a closing ceremony and dinner on Dec. 15.
Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen, PMCF President Sandy Arnold, board members and the Pitney family were among the attendees at the West Avenue farm. “This future home of community gardens, year-round produce, and agricultural education will be a tremendous additional to our quality of life,” said Mayor Yepsen. “The family’s agricultural legacy will continue, thanks to the widespread community passion and support…”
Sandy Arnold and husband Paul Arnold, family farmers in Argyle, lead a team of donors, advisors, and volunteers in raising $650,000 for the purchase and $150,000 in closing costs, while the city funded $1.13 million for the development rights. The Pitney family, who owned the property for over 154 years, donated the final $645,000.
The community farm will “bring agricultural appreciation to people of all ages,” said Arnold. In 2017, they will “plant crops on the large 90-acre field, begin building the community gardens, initiate programming, and begin mapping of trails and paths for recreational activities” such as biking and cross-country skiing.
Barbara Glaser, longtime open space advocate and adviser, also thanked Michael Kilpatrick, “whose initial vision…started us on this journey,” and attorneys Jerry Cosgrove, Alisa Dalton and Oksana Ludd, who worked with Tony Izzo, the city’s legal counsel, and “performed miracles to make this day possible.”
A community dinner followed at Kim Klopstock’s Fifty South restaurant. Attendees included Field Horne, SL’s Saratoga Heritage editor. For more on the history of Pitney Farm, see his story in the SL Holiday 2015 issue.