POUGHKEEPSIE – Construction has begun to develop a working farm in the City of Poughkeepsie.
Located adjacent to the city’s Pershing Avenue Park, the quarter-acre farm will consist of two segments. One will serve as an educational farm where young people can learn about agriculture and its role in promoting good health. Food grown on this land will be distributed to local families via Dutchess Outreach. The remainder of the property will be a community garden, with plots available for residents to grow their own produce.
Poughkeepsie-based LCS Landscapes is working with the city, which owns the land, Scenic Hudson, and RPA/New City Parks, to carry out the initial phase of construction. This includes grading the site, bringing water to the farm site, installing a fence around it, and creating access with paths and a grassy farm road.
Once the work is completed later this fall, the YouthBuild Americorps Program of Nubian Directions II, Inc., will create the raised beds for the farm and garden plots. Beds in the community garden should be available for planting in the spring. The educational portion of the farm should start-up in the fall of 2021 or spring of 2022.
Scenic Hudson River Cities Program Director Zoraida Lopez-Diago said, “Construction of the Pershing Avenue Neighborhood Farm marks another important step in Scenic Hudson’s collaborative efforts to restore and reconnect people to Poughkeepsie’s natural treasures. Thanks to the city, RPA/New City Parks, Nubian Directions II and PARKnership members for partnering with us on this project, which will improve the health and quality of life of so many residents in the city’s Northside neighborhoods.”
Mayor Rob Rolison praised the initiative. “I welcome this initial step in realizing the vision to improve an entire block of Pershing Avenue. The Pershing Avenue Neighborhood Farm not only will be a place for local families to grow fresh food but will provide an exciting new space for families to come together. The city is grateful to the partners working with us to create this new community hub.”
“At LCS Landscapes, having the opportunity to be a part of projects such as the Pershing Avenue Neighborhood Farm is incredibly meaningful to us,” said LCS Vice-president Daniel Lepore. “Our family is from, and still remains in Poughkeepsie and being an active contributor to its revitalization is important. This City is great for so many reasons already, but I believe this will just be another amazing asset to it.”