New York, NY (March 26 , 2021)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced that it is accepting applications for the 2021 Barnabas McHenry Hudson Valley Awards. The awards are granted to graduate and undergraduate students pursuing research, leadership, and community involvement in New York’s Hudson Valley. The 2021 application deadline is April 19, 2021.
Each year, OSI selects up to four students in the fields of environmental conservation, healthy communities, historic preservation, the arts, and tourism to receive a McHenry Award.
Under the construct of the program, students partner with local non-profits and are awarded up to $5,000, with an additional $1,000 going to the non-profit, to pursue a project that will promote awareness about local history and the environment and invoke positive change. The 14-year-old program is aimed at encouraging and enabling exceptional, conservation-minded students to take an active leadership role in the Albany, Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, and Westchester county communities.
“OSI’s annual McHenry awards are a great way for young people to engage with their communities in ways that meet local needs, while furthering their individual goals and interests,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “From Westchester to Albany, New York’s Hudson Valley has a rich history and distinct character, and the McHenry Awards are a funded opportunity for young conservationists to help further collective knowledge and appreciation of this vibrant landscape.”
OSI established the McHenry Awards in 2007 to honor the extensive contributions of Trustee Barnabas McHenry, a renowned Hudson Valley environmental philanthropist and conservationist. Over the past 14 years, OSI has committed nearly $277,000 to 51 McHenry Award grantees.
Previous winners have worked on projects that educated and inspired residents, often leading to tangible community resources such as the creation of a walking and biking trail in Ulster County; a local, fresh food market in downtown Newburgh; the creation of interactive educational exhibits about the Hudson River in Beacon; and the compilation of resources to help Newburgh residents transform city-owned vacant lots into neighborhood amenities. Other projects have impacted the Hudson Valley through water quality assessments, academic theses and dissertations, historical walking tours, and community panel discussions.
OSI has been working in the Hudson River Valley for more than 40 years. The Hudson River Valley is the landscape where OSI got its start and has left one of its largest conservation legacies—protecting more than 100,000 acres in the region. OSI’s work here has created Sterling Forest State Park and Schunnemunk State Park, and more than doubled the size of Minnewaska, Thacher, Fahnestock, and Moreau Lake state parks.