History and Beginnings
In 1929, the financier George Perkins, his wife Linn, and his mother Evelyna Ball Perkins, purchased the land that became Glynwood Farm, which took its name from a combination of the first names of its new owners. The Perkins brought a deep conservation ethic to their farm, inspired by Mr. Perkins’ father—George Walbridge Perkins—who in the late 19th Century led the way to the creation of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission, and served as its first President. To date, the Commission has conserved more than 100,000 acres of land in New York and New Jersey.
Upon Mrs. Perkins’ death, her family preserved Glynwood Farm and made its core the site of a not-for-profit organization dedicated to rural conservation. With help from the Open Space Institute and Open Space Conservancy and funding from the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund, the forested uplands of the 2,500-acre estate became part of Fahnestock State Park, while the 225-acre core, with its farms and houses, became Glynwood Center. The Perkins family also created an endowment for the maintenance of Glynwood’s facilities, which now include a headquarters and convening center, situated on a demonstration farm. Glynwood continues to benefit from the family’s involvement and support.
In 1997, Glynwood absorbed the Countryside Institute and its Countryside Exchange program, which served as a “field laboratory” for understanding the problems and needs of rural communities. The Countryside Exchanges continue to provide the intellectual underpinnings for Glynwood’s mission and programs.