NEW YORK, NY (March 18, 2018)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) is hosting a delegation from the nation of Colombia for a four-day visit to the Hudson Valley. The 20-member group of Colombian visitors includes Governor Eduardo de la Rosa (Altantico) and Governor Dumek Turbay Paz (Bolivar); as well as foundation representatives, civic leaders, scholars, and regional conservationists.
During their stay, the group hopes to learn about such topics as conservation strategies, public-private partnerships, conservation-based tourism, park management, and environmental education, with the hope of replicating some of the Hudson Valley conservation successes in the protection of two million acres in Colombia’s Tropical Dry Forest, one of the most critically endangered ecoregions in the country.
“This visit offers an exciting opportunity to highlight how parks and other protected land here in the Hudson Valley has been integrated into healthy communities and strong local economies,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “It is our hope that our distinguished guests will be inspired by all that OSI and our many local partners have accomplished here, and that they will be able to identify conservation strategies that can be applied back in Colombia.”
The visit will consist of stops at local parks, preserves, and historic sites, including the River-to-Ridge Trail, a six-mile trail connecting the Walkill Valley Rail Trail and the City of New Paltz to the carriage roads and footpaths of the Shawangunk Ridge. The Trail is expected to be completed by Fall, 2018, weather permitting.
The group will learn about the Trail’s construction, as well as OSI’s previous conservation work in the region. The River-to-Ridge Trail is a partnership project by OSI and the Mohonk Preserve, with the support of the Butler Conservation Fund, and it marks another milestone in OSI’s commitment to protecting land and connecting people to scenic outdoor destinations on and around the Shawangunk Ridge.
Additional tour stops include Minnewaska State Park Preserve, where OSI is restoring the park’s historic carriage roads and constructing a new visitor center; Mohonk Preserve; the Mohonk Mountain House; Storm King Art Center; Walkway Over the Hudson; and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.
The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands, and sustain communities.