On a late summer day, Joe Katz and Pattie Eakin offered their home for an event celebrating a long history of land conservation and partnership. There, in the shadow of the Shawangunk Ridge, OSI was awarded the 2007 President’s Award by the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) to honor 25 years of work in the region. Several OSI staffers and board members were present to accept the award.
OSI has protected more than 24,000 acres of the Shawangunk Ridge and more than 1,600 acres of farmland in the Wallkill Valley nestled below in southern Ulster County. Lands protected have included mountain ridges and farms, lowlands and sky top lakes, cliff faces and rare dwarf pine barrens.
Some of OSI’s proudest achievements include the protection of 5,770 acres at Sam’s Point Preserve, substantial additions to Mohonk Preserve at the Trapps Gateway, and the 1,366-acre Witch’s Hole. Most recently, OSI worked in partnership with WVLT to preserve the last two working farms in the Village of New Paltz through the Two Farms Campaign.
“It is a great feeling to be recognized by WVLT for the work we have done in Ulster County it’s like receiving the seal of approval. They have proved to be excellent partners in conservation,” remarked OSI President Joe Martens. “Working with them was a great experience and we look forward to doing more here.”
“What better group to give the award to this year!” said WVLT President Bob Taylor. “OSI supported our work on four projects, and even though they have a vision for the entire North East, they pay close attention to farmland protection in our Wallkill River Valley.”