Seeking inspiration at Falls Village’s Town Farm

Falls Village Recreation Commission toured the Town Farm to discuss ways to optimize use of the land March 30.

Patrick L. Sullivan

Seeking inspiration at Falls Village’s Town Farm

FALLS VILLAGE — Members of the Recreation Commission led a tour of the Town Farm property on Saturday, March 30, right after an Easter egg hunt.

Recreation director Emily Peterson and commission chair Ted Moy led the way, accompanied by all three selectmen and a group of about 10 other people.

Peterson and Moy said the Recreation Commission is trying to determine the best use of the property, which is roughly 70 acres.

Twelve acres are wetlands, 16 acres have power lines and septic systems within them, and the transfer station takes up another eight acres.

Peterson said there are, roughly, 40 acres of land to consider uses for.

Selectman Judy Jacobs, wearing her Falls Village-Canaan Historical Society hat, explained why the property is called the Town Farm and not, for instance, The Town Pool.

Standing in a slight hollow just south of the pool parking lot, she said there was a house there, used to shelter indigent people.

Government support for such institutions stopped in the 1950s, and the home and fields were used as a farm.

In the 1990s, the house was moved to a site on Music Mountain Road.

As the group moved east, where the Hollenbeck River winds through the woods, Peterson said the Recreation Commission put a plan together for the Town Farm property about 20 years ago. One part of that plan was to build a pavilion about where the group was walking. The idea drew supportive murmurs from the group.

There was some discussion of creating fishing access along the river. A couple of keen-eyed participants peered into the somewhat swollen waterway, looking for signs of trout. (They saw none, but it was murky.)

There has been discussion of using the Town Farm for solar power, but that idea was rejected by the commission in a March 12 letter to the selectmen:

“The proposed solar panels would be installed on land which would be ideal for developing for recreational use, which we all know is the intended use. The Recreation Commission intends to develop the land to better suit the recreational needs and desires of the town, and reducing the available land by an acre-plus is both impractical and needlessly complicated.”

“After discussing the plan, and with careful consideration, the Recreation Commission has decided to refuse permitting the placement of solar panels at the proposed location. The Commission would, however, permit the placement of solar panels in an identified location, outside of the gate, between the Recreation Center driveway and the Transfer Station driveway.”

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