ULSTER COUNTY, NY— Over the past four decades, the Open Space Institute (OSI) has led the way in protecting scenic landscapes, dramatic waterfalls, and windswept cliffs in the iconic Shawangunk Ridge, while also increasing public access to these now-conserved lands. Today, that story comes alive through OSI’s new “Saving the Shawangunks” Story Map, which presents a time-lapsed, interactive guide to land protection on the Ridge. The new multimedia project highlights the Ridge’s unique history and habitats, as well as the effort to improve the public experience on the land — including efforts to build a new Visitor Center for Minnewaska.
“Saving the Shawangunks,” which can be viewed here, tells the story of this conservation, from efforts to stop the construction of a massive hotel and condominium development, to present-day efforts to expand Minnewaska and restore and create carriage roads and trails. Harnessing the power of maps, video, photography, and narrative text, the Story Map platform presents a new way to understand the iconic Shawangunk landscape visited by some 700,000 people every year.