Open Arts Studio for Families
Grace Farms History
Grace Farms is situated in the northeast corner of New Canaan, a suburban town with proximity to metropolitan Manhattan, New York, and New Haven, Connecticut. The expansive 80-acre landscape is one of the last remaining large parcels of open space in Fairfield County, now made available to the public by Grace Farms Foundation.
In the 1940s, Grace Farms was a patchwork of small rural properties, cleared of the former hardwood forests in favor of fields for crops. This land became Comstock Farms, with a private residence and small farm, until it was sold in 1991 to Windsome Farms and converted to a private equestrian facility with 24 paddocks, a harnessed exercise ring, and a 30,000 square foot barn lined with 52 stalls.
The land and its facilities were purchased by a developer, Pacific Farms, in early 2000 and rezoned for a 10-lot subdivision. Many groups tried to save this scenic land, including the Town of New Canaan, but they were unable to reach a cost agreement with the owners. In 2007, a group of individuals that would later come together to form Grace Farms Foundation were inspired by the unique character of the parcel and purchased 48 acres in order to preserve the land, share it as a gift of open space, and utilize it to advance good in the world. The full 80 acres were acquired by the Foundation between 2007 and 2015.
Today, Grace Farms Foundation has retained the property’s open beauty and wild serenity as a rare piece of Fairfield County landscape.