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OSI’s ‘Saving the Shawangunks’ Named as Finalist in International ‘StoryMapper of the Year’ Contest

Photo Credit: Eric Kreiger

ULSTER COUNTY, NY (Jan. 22, 2020) —Following its release by the Open Space Institute (OSI), the “Saving the Shawangunks” Story Map has been honored by global mapping company Esri as a semifinalist in its “StoryMapper of the Year” competition.

In selecting the Story Map as a top-five finalist out of more than 400 entries, Esri — creator of the multimedia Story Map platform — cited the product’s “elegant” maps that showcase four decades of conservation in the Shawangunks and Minnewaska State Park Preserve (see blog post announcement).

As part of the award, OSI was also granted $1,000, which it will designate to the campaign for the Minnewaska Visitor Center, also profiled in the Story Map (to learn more about the effort to create the Visitor Center, visit here).

“This award truly acknowledges the global exceptionality of the Shawangunk Ridge, and its invaluable role in the lives and communities that it touches,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “We thank Esri for this special recognition.”

'Saving the Shawangunks' Story Map

OSI's newest Story Map touches on the history and unique habitats of the Shawangunk landscape — while also exploring a highly anticipated new, four-season visitor center.

View the Story Map
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Elliman also expressed appreciation to a number of partners who have played significant roles in protecting the Shawangunk Ridge, including New York State Parks, The Butler Conservation Fund, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, Mohonk Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Shawangunks, Wallkill Valley Land Trust, Palisades Parks Conservancy, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.

Harnessing drone imagery, film, and photography, the project also 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 the new Visitor Center.

The Shawangunk Ridge is an ecologically and geologically significant landscape just ninety minutes north of New York City. Over the past four decades, OSI’s land protection efforts along the Shawangunk Ridge in Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster counties has amounted to more than 33,000 acres — a total more than twice the size of Manhattan.

OSI is also expanding parkland, creating trails, preserving local viewsheds, and protecting venerable farmland and wildlife habitats: this work includes supporting the creation of a local rail trail network, creation of the celebrated River-to-Ridge Trail; leading the reconstruction of Minnewaska’s Victorian-era carriage roads; and, in partnership with the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, restoring the Rosendale Trestle.

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