2009 is an exciting year at Martin Van Buren National Historic Site – Lindenwald, the farm where the 8th President of the United States grew a variety of crops has become the site of another kind of growth. The size of the park has increased. With the passage of the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009, the boundary of the site which originally encompassed only 39 acres is increasing in size to 300 acres making it even larger than when Martin Van Buren lived and farmed here. The enlarged boundary not only protects property which had been owned by Van Buren, but also scenic areas adjacent to the farm.
Van Buren, President of the United States from 1837 to 1841, bought Lindenwald to serve as his home and political base spending the “happiest years of my life” as a farmer in his native town. As the son of Kinderhook tavern keepers he had grown up with an appreciation for the rich agricultural heritage of the community. Yet after his death in 1862, his beloved farm saw a rapid succession of owners and the breakup of its once prosperous acreage into several parcels. Under the terms of the boundary adjustment most of the land that falls within the new boundary will remain under private ownership, but with easements and a trail system providing visitor access to the President’s original farmlands.
Along with our partners such as Roxbury Farm and the Open Space Institute, Martin Van Buren National Historic Site is presented with the challenge and opportunity to conserve Lindenwald’s surrounding lands for the enjoyment and appreciation of generations to come. While a tour of Van Buren’s home remains the highlight of any trip to the site visitors will be able to gain greater appreciation of the estate’s agricultural past as they see Lindenwald in its larger context for the first time. Farmlands across the country face everyday challenges to their very existence, but the boundary adjustment provides new protection for Lindenwald’s acreage and the park’s scenic vistas. New trails will allow our guests to see the land which has been continuously farmed since the 1840’s and ensure that visitor experiences at Lindenwald will continue to “grow” for many years to come.