Suffolk County recently closed on the purchase of 93 acres of farmland and waterfront open space that is slated to be turned into passive parkland in the Town of Riverhead, officials said.
The property stretching from Sound Avenue to the Long Island Sound consists of 20 acres of farmland and roughly 73 acres of open space and habitat. The land, purchased from the Carman family, will be used as parkland with hiking trails and beachfront access.
“Two things need to be in place to preserve land: A willing landowner, and available funds,” said Suffolk Legislator Al Krupski (D-Cutchogue). “This is not always the case, and Suffolk County was fortunate that these two requirements aligned.”
The acquisition, which lawmakers approved in September, is funded by the county’s drinking water protection program funded by a ¼ percent sales tax.
It was one of two pieces of land that the county recently purchased. The other, 46 acres of active, prime farmland sitting on the south side of Sound Avenue and east of Roanoke Avenue, was preserved through the purchase of developments rights program.
“Preserving farmland through the PDR program benefits the community and the economy in so many ways,” Krupski added. “It keeps the land on the tax rolls, prevents the potential development that can lead to higher property taxes, protects water quality and quantity, and adds to our ability for Suffolk County to produce food and other agricultural products well into the future.”