Photo Credit: Brett Cole

Our story

At the Open Space Institute, our vision for the future has always been broad — since 1974 we’ve emphasized the importance of supporting conservation on a permanent, landscape scale.

We began by focusing on land in New York State, and have so far protected 151,000 acres of open space in the Adirondacks, Hudson River Valley, Shawangunks and Catskills.

In recent years, we’ve used our transactional expertise to save significant, complex, and large-scale tracts in South Carolina, Florida, and New Jersey through direct acquisitions.

We work with government agencies, landowners and local land trusts to acquire land to protect diverse landscapes; preserve habitat for rare or endangered species; ensure water quality; facilitate wildlife adaptation to climate change; and enhance recreational access.

We also protect land from future development while it remains in private hands through conservation easements.

Learn more about who we are and where we work.

Conservation Capital

In 2003, we launched our Conservation Capital program to accelerate the rate and effectiveness of land protection. Through its loans and grants the program has distributed over $122,823,446 to partner land trusts to protect 2,069,081 acres valued at $700 million, and support land research and planning.

Park Improvements

We've protected more than 10 percent of the acreage in New York’s state parks and worked to make significant park improvements for the millions of park visitors each year. Our strong record of expanding and easing access to nature through recreational facilities, trails, visitor centers, and interpretive programming, has touched countless lives throughout the state.

We also partner with New York State, individuals, organizations, and the private sector to spearhead capital campaigns and park infrastructure projects.

Citizen Action

Through our Citizen Action program, we offer financial and legal oversight for projects started by concerned citizens whose programs and activities are aligned with our mission. This oversight makes the projects eligible to solicit and receive grants and tax-deductible contributions that are normally available only to 501(c)(3) organizations.

Land Program

OSI has protected 151,000 acres of land in New York State, where our work first began more than forty years ago, and other important properties in Maine, Virginia, South Carolina and New Jersey. Through direct acquisition and conservation easements, we protect critical open space habitats, recreation areas, family farms, historic sites, and partner with local and state government to expand their parklands


What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


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