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Hilltop Hanover Farm's New Meadow Helps County Meet New Mandates

Wild flowers and native grasses will soon be sprouting at Hilltop Hanover Farm to help reduce stormwater pollutants and improve the county's water quality.
Wild flowers and native grasses will soon be sprouting at Hilltop Hanover Farm to help reduce stormwater pollutants and improve the county's water quality. Photo Credit: Contributed

YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Wild flowers and native grasses will soon be sprouting at Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights as part of an effort to help the county meet a state and federal mandate to reduce stormwater pollutants and improve water quality.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said the program would be funded through a state grant secured by the county's Soil and Water Conservation District.

"This small meadow packs a big punch for preserving water quality," Astorino said. "The project at Hilltop Hanover Farm is a great example of the important work being done by the county's Soil and Water Conservation Board, capitalizing on every opportunity to preserve our natural resources for future generations."

The $6,000 state grant will be used by the farm's staff and volunteers to create a 1.5 acre meadow of native grasses and wildflowers along the outside perimeter of a fence surrounding Hilltop Hanover Farm's agricultural fields. The meadow will minimize the environmental impacts of agricultural activities at the county-owned farm by filtering and absorbing much of the stormwater run-off from the fields before it reaches wetlands and streams that supply the East of Hudson watershed, Astorino said.

The plantings are needed to help the county meet rules under the state's MS4 Stormwater Permit Program which includes retrofitting county roads and facilities to reduce the introduction of stormwater pollutants, such as phosphorous, into the watershed.

Hilltop Hanover Farm is a 187-acre crop farm and environmental center, located in Yorktown Heights operated under a public/private partnership between Westchester County and Friends of Hilltop Hanover.

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