In the years since the farmers exited the area, forests have rapidly returned (although still not fully mature), bottom-lands have become reservoirs, and residential developments have replaced more accessible farms. It is said that the population of the Kent-Carmel area has only recently approached the numbers of 200 years ago. Yet, despite these changes Putnam County still represents a sharp departure from the suburbs separating it from New York City. It has been, and still is, a tableau of roads twisting through wooded areas and stony ridges.
By way of postscript, in the last decade development pressures have been rippling up from Westchester County and have brought the usual raft of box stores to the area. Of special interest is the fact that the Putnam County Legislature voted unanimously in 2005 to place a bond referendum on the ballot that would allocate $20 million to preserve open spaces. Unfortunately, the referendum was defeated. Nevertheless, to protect its reservoir watershed, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) considers the Lake Sagamore Watershed area of the highest priority for acquisition. The DEP buys land in the area from landowners willing to sell. For the most part, the residents of Putnam County share with the residents of Lake Sagamore an eagerness to preserve the semi-rural nature of the area.
If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.