CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (May 26, 2022)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and Thrive Regional Partnership (Thrive) have announced the launch of a new collaborative initiative to empower vulnerable communities in the Southeastern US to plan for and respond to the increasing effects of climate change. The “Resilient Communities” initiative will harness cutting-edge data and science around land conservation and other environmental protection strategies, to better safeguard the public from destructive floods, dangerous heat waves, and other climate effects.
Under the first stage of the Resilient Communities initiative, OSI and Thrive will roll out a preliminary pilot program, under which they will work directly with up to four communities to build out land protection and other nature-based solutions that address climate challenges. Together, the partners will develop visioning models and employ climate-based planning that can eventually be scaled up to participating communities in Thrive’s entire 16-county focus area across Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Specifically, the Resilient Communities initiative will focus on aiding low-income, economically underserved, and racially diverse communities, which are most vulnerable to climate effects.
“The Open Space Institute is proud of its role in proactively harnessing land protection and other nature-based solutions to address climate change, one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Joel Houser, OSI’s Southeast Field Coordinator. “After years of planning, we are excited to launch the pilot program to officially work with and learn alongside communities in this region. OSI thanks Thrive for its tireless efforts to help residents of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee live better lives and look forward to a more hopeful future.”