January 13, 2012
Proposals Sought for Organic Farming at Mills-Norrie State Park
Project would educate public about healthy foods, agriculture and history of Hudson Valley farming
The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has issue a request for proposals (RFP) from potential partners to develop an organic farming project at Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County. The project is intended to spur investment in the park's barn and historic infrastructure while creating a strong public educational program related to conservation, the benefits of healthy foods, organic agriculture, and the history of farming in the park.
"There is a tradition of farming at the great estates of the Hudson Valley, and introducing organic farming to meadows around the historic Staatsburgh mansion is a great way State Parks can encourage the twin benefits of healthy food and sustainable agriculture," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "A mutually beneficial partnership has potential to enhance what the park has to offer while producing more healthy locally grown food for people in the region."
The RFP asks potential partners to describe how they would preserve the late 19th century Huntington Barn, repair a stone wall along Old Post Road, lead education programs and pay a license fee to State Parks. In return, the partner would have access to the historic 1,600-square foot barn and 10 acres of gently rolling farmable land, directly accessible from Old Post Road, for crop production. State Parks would issue a license to the business or organization that would provide the greatest public benefit and financial return to the park.
The farm operator would also have to maintain surrounding meadows that are critical habitat for certain bird species, and engage in agricultural practices on the farm site such as plantings, buffers and other management techniques to maintain and enhance birdlife in the area.
For questions or to request a copy of the RFP, contact Harold H. Hagemann, Jr., Concessions Management Bureau, New York State Parks, One Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York 12238. Email: Harold.Hagemann@parks.ny.gov. Proposals are due Wednesday, February 22, 2012.
With three miles of shoreline along the Hudson River, Margaret Lewis Norrie State Park adjoins Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills Memorial State Park and together comprise more than 1,100 acres. Mills Memorial State Park is the home of Staatsburgh State Historic Site, an elegant 1895 Beaux Arts estate, and the Dinsmore Golf Course. A campground and marina are located within Norrie State Park.For more information on New York State Parks, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com.