NEW YORK, NY (Oct. 24, 2019) — The Open Space Institute (OSI) has presented its annual Land Conservation Award to Diana Taylor, honoring a ground-breaking champion of environmental causes and organizations including a transformative public park planned for the west side of Manhattan.
More than 300 people gathered at OSI’s Annual Luncheon, held at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, to honor Taylor, who was introduced by former New York State Governor George Pataki. Tatiana Schlossberg, former New York Times Science reporter and author of the new book Inconspicuous Consumption, delivered the keynote address.
“Across our communities, parks are critically important as sources of pride, vitality and economic strength,” Taylor said. “Park accessibility is absolutely essential to the public psyche. I thank the Open Space Institute for this award, and for recognizing, expanding, and supporting parks within our society.”
“Diana Taylor has had an inestimable impact on the lives of countless individuals throughout our city and beyond. Her unwavering commitment to providing access to a range of recreational experiences and environmental education is laudatory,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “We are honored to present the OSI Land Conservation Award to our friend, Diana Taylor.”
Taylor today serves as Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust. In this role, Taylor is instrumental in spearheading a partnership between New York State and the City that will result in the design, construction, and operation of a four-mile park in New York City — the largest open space project to undergo construction in Manhattan since the completion of Central Park.
In addition to the Hudson River Park Trust, Taylor services on charitable boards including Accion and Hot Bread Kitchen, as well as the boards of Citigroup, Brookfield Asset Management, and Sotheby’s. Her other board memberships include the Mailman School of Public Health and the International Women’s Health Coalition.
Formerly State Superintendent of Banks under the Pataki Administration, Taylor is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Economic Club of New York. She earned an AB from Dartmouth College, an MBA from the Columbia School of Business, and an MPH from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia.
As author of Inconspicuous Consumption, Schlossberg delved into how individuals’ daily habits around food, fashion, technology, and fuel impact the environment. During her keynote address, Schlossberg stressed the importance of collective action around addressing climate change.
“We are all exposed and contribute to climate change just by the nature of the things we use, watch, and buy every day,” Schlossberg said. “What we need now more than ever is for people to contribute; we should feel collectively responsible for building a better world.”
In addition to her role as an author, Schlossberg is a journalist writing about climate change and the environment. Other than the New York Times, her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Bloomberg View, Yale Environment 360, The Record (Bergen County), and the Vineyard Gazette. Schlossberg is also the daughter of Caroline Kennedy, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and a granddaughter of John F. Kennedy, the 35th U.S. President.
Also at the luncheon, OSI honored the recipients of the Barnabas McHenry Hudson Valley Awards, funded by an endowment raised by OSI to honor its Trustee, Barney McHenry. The annual awards recognize exceptional young leaders working in support of the Hudson River Valley.
The recipients of this year’s awards and their projects are:
- Grace Alli, who is working with Hudson Valley Initiative and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation to develop a toolbox that will communicate the policies and processes for turning city-owned vacant lots in Newburgh into temporary or permanent neighborhood amenities.
- Ethan Scott Barnett, who is working with A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Library to establish Kingston, NY as one of the important African Heritage sites in the nation.
- Erin R. Clark, who is partnering with Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress to analyze the tourism habits of college students and Millennials (19-38 years old) with a survey and analysis of MetroNorth outbound weekend ridership from NYC to the Hudson Valley.
- Lindsey Drew, who is partnering with the Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) to assess and address impacts in the Sawkill Creek watershed, which includes the towns of Woodstock, Hurley, Kingston, and Ulster.
- Hannah Tremblay, who is working with National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) to research issues farmers are facing in the Hudson Valley including land access policies designed to address the challenges of high land prices, intergenerational transition, and competition from non-farming buyers.