Denny Cove Scenic Overlook

Southeast Resilient Landscapes Fund (Completed)

Image Credit: Access Fund

OSI partners with conservation organizations in the Southeast to assemble networks of protected lands to preserve plant and animal diversity in a changing climate. The Fund supports projects in three regions where an array of wild lands harbor rich biodiversity as well as the geological and landform complexity that allows species to adapt. 

Grant Opportunities

The Fund provides capital grants and loans to qualified non-profits for the acquisition of land or conservation easements on climate-resilient lands, capitalized with a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Through an in-depth review process, OSI selected three focus areas: the Southern Cumberlands in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee; the Southern Blue Ridge in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee; and the Greater Pee Dee River in South Carolina and North Carolina.  

Eligible Uses of Funds

Grants may be used to acquire permanent conservation easements and fee interest in land. In exceptional cases, grants may be applied to cover transactional costs, including cost of appraisals, surveys, title, and environmental assessments. The Fund may also provide short-term low-interest loans for projects that require bridge financing and that meet the grant criteria. Grant funds cannot be used for endowments, stewardship costs, baseline documentation reports, staff time, buildings or other non-capital project expenses.

Grant Awards

OSI staff and the Fund’s Advisory Committee review applications against the Fund’s criteria and goals. Once OSI has approved a grant, we will provide the grantee with a checklist of items required for OSI to prepare a grant agreement. When all required information and documents are received, OSI will forward a grant agreement to the grantee. If applicable, the grantee must provide documents pertaining to each project phase and match parcel. OSI will release funds at the time the transaction closes. Projects must close within 18 months of OSI’s grant approval.

Conservation Easement and Stewardship Standards

Conservation easements and stewardship of Resilient Landscape Fund grant projects must be consistent with the goals of the Fund: maintaining the land’s resilience to climate change and conserving native biodiversity and ecosystem processes. Prior to submitting a grant proposal, applicants should review OSI’s Conservation Easement and Stewardship Standards.

Grant Amount and Matching Requirement

Although there is no minimum or maximum grant size, awards are typically between $100,000 and $400,000.

OSI will give strong preference to projects with a 5:1 or greater financial match. OSI will fund projects with less than 5:1 match only in exceptional circumstances. Prior to grant distribution, grantees must provide a detailed accounting of all matching sources.

The following qualify as matching funds:

  • Public funds (federal, state and local) and private funds from individuals and foundations used for the acquisition of fee interest or a conservation easement on the subject property or on eligible match properties.
  • The value of a donated conservation easement or bargain sale on the subject property.
  • The value of eligible match properties (see below).
  • Transaction and other acquisition costs, including appraisals, surveys, environmental assessments, title exams and insurance, recording fees, transfer and real estate taxes, property carrying costs and fees for outside counsel.

Match Property Eligibility

To be eligible as match, property must 1) be adjacent or proximate to the subject property, 2) meet the Fund’s criteria, 3) be part of a larger plan that includes conservation of the match and subject properties, and 4) close prior to the closing of the subject property but not more than one year before date of application. In addition, to determine eligibility of match parcels OSI will consider whether the match and the subject properties lie in the same watershed, geophysical setting, matrix forest block, natural community and/or State Wildlife Action Plan priority area.

The following do not qualify as matching funds:

  • Ecological or land restoration dollars
  • Stewardship endowments and land management expenses Staff time, travel or expenses

Next Steps to Apply

Please note: The Fund is completed. 

Before submitting an application, fill out the Financial Summary Form,  review Frequently Asked Questions, Fund Criteria (above), and the Definitions and Map Guide (updated September 2017). 

We encourage applicants to contact OSI staff before preparing a proposal. 

Project Inquiries

Joel Houser

Director of Capital Grants

(423) 364-5980

General Inquiries

Yasemin Unal-Rodriguez

Conservation Capital Program Associate

(212) 290-8200 x1311

GIS and Mapping Inquiries

Neil Jordan

Director of Geospatial Strategy

(212) 290-8200

What You Can Do

Donate to support OSI’s work

Become a part of our mission to safeguard at-risk places through your tax-deductible gift.


Subscribe to our newsletter

We get in touch once a month with our most important news, stories, and updates.