Funding

Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Valley Awards

Supporting future Hudson River Valley leaders

Each year, we present our Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Awards to up to four exceptional young leaders in the fields of environmental conservation, historic preservation, environmental justice, the arts, and tourism.

Created in 2007, these awards honor philanthropist and conservationist Barnabas McHenry, a longtime OSI Trustee. Barney is passionate about supporting young leaders who share his appreciation for the Valley’s vibrant historical, artistic, and cultural resources.

Read on to learn more about the McHenry Awards, their legacy and impact, and how to apply.

Fund Criteria

The awards, up to $5,000 each, provide financial support for undergraduate or graduate students to pair with nonprofits in the Hudson River Valley region. Projects should educate local and academic communities, promote awareness around the history and environment, and invoke change. See a list of previous McHenry fellows.

Applicants should show:

  • Demonstrated excellence in a chosen field and passion for their distinctive project.
  • Tangible benefits to local communities.
  • Impact on a student’s college or university that raises compelling dialogue.

Nonprofits receive $1,000 for sponsorship expenses.

Andrew Randazzo, 2021 McHenry Scholar, worked with Mohonk Preserve to develop and revise land management plans.
Andrew Randazzo, 2021 McHenry Scholar, worked with Mohonk Preserve to develop and revise land management plans.
Image Credit: Stephen D. Stewart Hill

Eligibility

Any nonprofit organization working in the Hudson Valley may nominate a candidate and his or her project. Eligible candidates must be undergraduate or graduate students. The project itself may be either a summer or a year-long internship. In addition to the $5,000 awarded to McHenry recipients, the Open Space Institute also awards $1,000 to their sponsoring organizations for supplementary expenses.

Partners

Nonprofits can also reach out to college professors with potential internship opportunities to pass along to students. Here is a list of colleges and universities in the Hudson River Valley area.

Impact

Our McHenry scholars’ projects and outreach have educated and inspired local residents, often leading to tangible community resources like a food bank or historical archive. Other projects have impacted the Valley through local newspaper publications, academic theses and dissertations, and community panel discussions.

Maija Niemisto, 2016 McHenry Scholar, researched the distribution of fish and plankton in the Hudson River Estuary with the Sloop Clearwater.
Maija Niemisto, 2016 McHenry Scholar, researched the distribution of fish and plankton in the Hudson River Estuary with the Sloop Clearwater.

How to Apply

Student Resources

Are you an undergraduate or a graduate student with a compelling project proposal but lack a partnership with a nonprofit organization? Here is a list of nonprofit organizations in the Hudson River Valley you can contact about applying for a summer or year-long internship funded by the McHenry Award.

As a student candidate, your own college or university can also nominate you. The project would then be conducted in collaboration with either a professor or faculty member in place of a nonprofit organization.

Organization Resources

If you want your organization or college to be listed under student or organization resources, please email Jessica Watson at [email protected] with a brief summary of your organization’s mission and how a McHenry Award project directed by a young leader could further that mission. (Maximum 1 paragraph)

Application Process

Applications are due online by 5 pm, March 31, 2022.

Applications must include:

  1. Online application completed by the nominating organization.
  2. Letter (not exceeding one page, single-spaced) from the candidate
    1. Explain the importance of this project to you;
    2. Explain why you are qualified to do this project;
    3. Include a resume (including academic achievements);
    4. Include a project budget.

See a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

McHenry Scholarship Contact

Jessica Watson

Conservation Communities Director

212.356.4288

1350 Broadway Suite 201, New York, New York 10018

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