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Open Space Institute and Land Trust Alliance Award Grants to Accelerate Climate Planning Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC (Sep. 27, 2023) – The Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Land Trust Alliance have announced the awarding of nearly $450,000 in grants and technical assistance to help communities across the country better plan for and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The initiative is generously funded by the Doris Duke Foundation, J.M. Kaplan Fund, Jane’s Trust Foundation, Merck Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation, Volgenau Foundation, William Penn Foundation, and several individual donors.

The Land and Climate Program grants will help land trusts and other nonprofit organizations advance conservation-informed strategic land protection and stewardship and renewable energy siting to support the ability of forests and other landscapes in capturing and sequestering carbon, providing land-based buffers against climate change impacts, and helping wildlife adapt to a changing climate.

During the three years since the program’s launch, the Land Trust Alliance and OSI have awarded more than $1.2 million in grants and technical assistance to address the climate crisis. This year, the Land and Climate Grant Program received the most-ever applications and distributed nearly $450,000 — its largest total amount of funding.

“Land trusts and conservation organizations are making great strides in helping our nation’s communities effectively meet the complex challenges posed by climate change,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “OSI is proud of our leadership in advancing climate-informed land protection, and in supporting the exceptional work of our grantees.”

“The impacts of climate change are being felt now and the importance of the land sector delivering all it can toward climate mitigation and adaptation has never been more urgent,” said Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president and CEO. “These grants will help land trusts develop strategic land protection plans and implement effective stewardship practices to maximize the benefits of conserved lands.”

Land trusts and conservation organizations are at the forefront of helping communities adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Land protection not only preserves the ability of forests and other natural features to absorb and store atmospheric carbon; it also prevents significant greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, secures habitat connectivity for wildlife, and helps to safeguard communities from extreme weather. Since 2015, the Alliance and OSI have partnered to fund, provide technical assistance, and train land trusts and other conservation nonprofits in incorporating climate science into their acquisition and stewardship planning.

The grantees are:

  • California’s Pacific Crest Trail Association ($10,000 grant) — PCTA Climate Communications Initiative.
  • California’s TreePeople ($12,000 grant) — TreePeople Land Trust Oil Fields Adoption and Rehabilitation Planning.
  • Colorado’s Access Fund ($12,000 grant plus conservation planning technical assistance) — From Apathy to Action: Encouraging the Climber, Conservation and Climate Connection.
  • Colorado’s Colorado Open Lands ($12,000 grant) — Powering Up Conservation: A Guide to Solar Energy Integration for the Land Trust Community.
  • Connecticut’s Connecticut Farmland Trust ($12,000 grant plus communications technical assistance) — Renewable Energy and Farmland Conservation: Co-Existence of Farming and Solar Arrays in CT.
  • Kansas’s Kansas Land Trust (Communications technical assistance) — Communicating about Climate Change Solutions in Kansas.
  • Maine’s Forest Stewards Guild ($12,500 grant) — Training Maine Land Trusts in Climate Adaptation Planning Using NIACS' Climate Adaptation Workbook.
  • Maine’s Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness ($12,500 grant) — Ihtoli Kikehtahsuitimok.
  • Maryland’s Eastern Shore Land Conservancy ($12,000 grant) — Improving State Policies for Renewable Energy Systems and Their Impact on Agricultural Lands.
  • Massachusetts’s Berkshire Natural Resources Council ($12,000 grant) — Strategic Conservation Plan.
  • Montana’s The Wilderness Land Trust ($13,000 grant plus conservation planning technical assistance) — Climate Change Resilience, East Coast Inventory and Prioritization of Wilderness Inholdings.
  • New Hampshire’s Upper Valley Land Trust ($12,000 grant plus conservation planning technical assistance) — Upper Valley Land Trust Climate-inclusive Conservation Planning.
  • New Jersey’s The Land Conservancy of New Jersey ($12,000 grant) — Forest Stewardship Plan for Split Rock Mountain.
  • New Jersey’s Ridge and Valley Conservancy ($15,000 grant) — Land Management Plans, Sustainability Annex.
  • New York’s Grassland Bird Trust ($7,000 grant) — Grassland Prioritization Analysis.
  • New York’s Genesee Land Trust ($10,000 grant plus communications technical assistance) — Diversifying the Climate Change Conversation in Rochester.
  • North Carolina’s Triangle Land Conservancy ($12,000 grant) — Evaluating Climate Impacts for the Watershed Protection Program in the Upper Neuse River Basin.
  • Oregon’s North Coast Land Conservancy ($14,988 grant) — Rainforest Reserve Management Plan.
  • Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art ($15,000 grant) — Brandywine Watershed Climate Resilience Feasibility Study.
  • Pennsylvania’s Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers ($15,000 grant) — Identifying and Sharing Climate Resilience Messaging for Community Watershed Organizations.
  • Pennsylvania’s Wissahickon Trails ($15,000 grant) — Conservation Management Plans for Climate Resiliency.
  • Puerto Rico’s Puerto Rico Conservation Trust ($12,000 grant) — Utilizing Land Management Planning for the Conservation of Puerto Rico Protected Areas.
  • Tennessee’s Land Trust for Tennessee ($10,000 grant) — A Statewide Conservation & Communications Plan to Prioritize Climate for Tennesseans
  • Vermont’s Friends of the Mad River ($12,500 grant plus community engagement technical assistance) — Ridge to River 2.0: Building A Watershed Action Framework for Climate Resilience.
  • Vermont’s Stowe Land Trust ($12,500 grant plus community engagement technical assistance) — Building Climate Resilience: A Community Conservation Needs Assessment for the Stowe, Vermont Region.
  • Virginia’s New River Land Trust ($13,000 grant) — GIS Prioritization for Multi-partner Conservation Effort in Virginia’s Eastern Divide Focal Area.
  • Washington’s Chelan-Douglas Land Trust ($15,000 grant) — Identifying Opportunities for Climate Resilient Interventions in Chelan and Douglas Counties.
  • Washington’s Whidbey Camano Land Trust ($12,000 grant) — Building Resilient Forests.
  • Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail Alliance ($7,500 grant) — Managing for Climate Resiliency along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.
  • Wisconsin’s Mississippi Valley Conservancy ($10,000 grant) — Plum Creek Climate Adaptation Plan.
  • Wyoming’s Jackson Hole Land Trust ($10,000 grant) — Water Rights Analysis to Address Climate Change Impacts in the Upper Green River Basin.
  • Wyoming’s Sheridan Community Land Trust ($12,000 grant plus conservation planning technical assistance) — Conservation Planning - Sheridan County, Wyoming.

About the Land Trust Alliance

Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents approximately 950 member land trusts supported by more than 250,000 volunteers and 6.3 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at

About the Open Space Institute

The Open Space Institute (OSI) protects scenic, natural, and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands, and sustain communities. Founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York State, OSI has been a partner in the protection of more than 2.3 million acres in North America. Visit OSI online at

About the Doris Duke Foundation

The Doris Duke Foundation (DDF) supports the well-being of people and the planet for a more creative, equitable and sustainable future. We operate five national programs — in the performing arts, the environment, medical research, child and family well-being and mutual understanding between communities — as well as Duke Farms and Shangri La, two centers that directly serve the public. Through the Environment Program, DDF seeks to ensure a thriving, resilient environment for wildlife and people, and foster an inclusive, effective conservation movement. Visit to learn more.

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