Town of Shelter Island
Shelter Island, New York
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August 8, 2012

As of THIS MORNING, more than 26 acres of Sylvester Manor farmland has been preserved for agricultural use and the $2.4m generated from the sale of the development rights has been generously given by Eben Ostby to the non-profit organization!


SM Back FieldSM Back FieldSM Back Field


Views of the "Big Back Field," the 26.4 acres that have just been preserved in Phase 1 

of the Sylvester Manor conservation plan with the Peconic Land Trust



The first step in taking Sylvester Manor out of private ownership and giving it back to the Island community that has grown around it now has full government support.


You might have read in the news this past week that an official closing date for the transfer of property has been set for today: August 8, at 9am at the Suffolk County Treasurer's Office in Riverhead. 


The 26 acres of Sylvester Manor farmland will be forever in agriculture per the terms of a recent agreement between federal and county officials, and this will be the first property owned by Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. Just prior to the preservation purchase, this land was donated by its owner, Eben Fiske Ostby, to the educational farm.


The $2.4 million in conservation funds will become the initial endowment of Sylvester Manor Educational Farm. Ostby and the Farm have also signed an agreement for the donation of an additional 57 acres of agricultural land (Phase II) to the Farm, tied to the pending sale of development rights on that land to the Town and the County. The Town and County have fully approved both acquisitions, which will total approximately 83.5 acres.


Many thanks to: 

Supervisor Jim Dougherty and the Town of Shelter Island

Sara Gordon, John Halsey and the Peconic Land Trust

Suffolk County Legislator Ed Romaine, County Planner Sarah Landsdale and County Executive Steve Bellone

U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand

And to Eben Ostby for his incredible generosity


With this deal Sylvester Manor Educational Farm, a locally controlled non-profit, now owns 26 acres of land and can begin an endowment of $2.4 million. 


We indeed have much to celebrate upon closing this sale!    




To read all the details in the Suffolk County press release, click here. To read the article in the SI reporter online, click here.



Conservation Efforts to Date




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