A growing tourist industry

This is not the first collaboration between the town and farmers.

Kramer said the town collaborated with several area farmers on other projects, including Farm Fest.

She said through these collaborations, the town met several farmers and learned about their businesses, which are typically family-owned.

"Many of our local farms have been passed down through generations; families who have given of themselves to the town and earth so that the legacy farming brings can continue forward for generations to come," Barrett said.

The town has worked with area farmers on Farm Fest for more than 15 years.

Farm Fest is an annual event in Clifton Park where local farmers open their doors to the public for free tours, apple picking, hayrides and local farming history lessons.

This year Farm Fest is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16.

"There is no doubt that it [Farm Fest] has grown over the years," Prescott.

Clifton Park also worked to preserve farmland in the town from development.

Prescott, who serves on the town's Open Space Committee, said town residents who responded to a survey conducted last year said the preservation of farmland was of extreme importance.

She said she is grateful to the town for collaborating with local farmers and said that the support from the town helps to keep local farms viable.

Marketing is also a piece of the project, including the creation of a Clifton Park brand.

The brand will show which products were grown in Clifton Park.

"It's a really exciting project," Kramer said. "People will be able to identify products from Clifton Park."

She said several local farms sell their products to local markets and the brand will help to make people aware of where the products they purchase are grown.

The town will also distribute a booklet to guide people to local farms and farmers markets. It will also include an overview of the town's farming history.

As a supplement to the booklet, a Web site will contain the local guide, as well as, printable trail maps for a self-directed tours of town farmlands.

"Clifton Park's success in winning this grant money is a win-win for taxpayers and our agricultural community, by growing our tourism base to benefit local farm markets and area businesses," said Councilman Scott Hughes, who serves as the liaison to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Community Affairs. "It's just one more way to celebrate our town's proud agricultural legacy and champion open space preservation."


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