5/17/2013 - Huntington completes Carpenter Farm purchase

Huntington completes Carpenter Farm purchase

Greenlawn property, once a working farm, will be used for passive parkland and educational purposes

Greenlawn, NY – Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone and Councilman Mark Cuthbertson announced today that the Town has completed the purchase of the 12.4-acre Carpenter Farm, a former farm that the Town will use for passive parkland and educational purposes.

“This is a significant addition to the Town’s passive parkland inventory,” Supervisor Petrone said. “I hope that both individuals and school groups will explore the property’s rolling meadows and observe its native wildlife.”

“The community strongly urged the town to purchase this property because of its historic and environmental value,” said Councilman Cuthbertson, who sponsored the resolutions to make the purchase. “I am pleased that such an important part of Greenlawn’s history will be preserved.”

The purchase, which was finalized May 10, was widely supported by area residents, who formed a group called Friends of the Carpenter Farm. The purchase price was $2.68 million, with funding coming from the Town’s Environmental Open Space and Park Fund.

Future improvements will likely include a gravel parking area, trails to access the site, and board fencing. Sections of the meadows will be mowed to maintain them as important grassland habitat.

Another use that has been mentioned is for educational purposes, including potential garden/farm use consistent with the historic agricultural use of the site.

“The use of the property for educational and environmental purposes made the property worth purchasing, even if the Town did not have a partner in the acquisition,” Councilwoman Susan A. Berland said. “I am pleased that the Town could make this purchase happen.”

Originally, the plan was for the Town to partner with Suffolk County in the purchase. But the County could not agree to a closing date the owner was willing to accept, and the sellers would not enter into a contract on the terms and conditions offered by the County. Last September, the Board voted to have the Town purchase the property by itself.

The site will be known as Carpenter Farm Park, continuing to honor Dr. Walter Carpenter, who was the first Board-certified pediatrician in Suffolk County.

Dr. Carpenter was a World War II war hero, awarded for bravery with the Congressional Medal of Honor. He served in the Army Medical Corp., then with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He is credited with rescuing over 500 airmen of the Royal Air Force (RAF) and American airmen flying over Europe who were shot down by the Nazis and kept by the partisans. He organized an OSS troop, parachuted behind enemy lines, and got the servicemen out on planes. He served for 7 years, having volunteered as a young doctor and completing his training after.

The Carpenter farm was once an active farm with barns, a water tower, and a large residential structure that also supported Dr. Carpenter’s pediatrics practice.

The farm was a haven for Dr. Carpenter. He never used chemicals and it was maintained as an organic operation throughout his ownership from the late 1940s. Horses were boarded there, chickens were raised, and sheep were kept to train border collies. Dr. Carpenter supported the efforts of many that were interested in helping to maintain the working farm and he welcomed visitors to enjoy it.