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2021 Year in Review: Protecting Watersheds and Drinking Water

By supporting efforts to protect key forests alongside streams for conservation, OSI continues to safeguard the drinking water resources of countless communities and habitats along the eastern seaboard.

Harnessing the innovative science of trail design, OSI’s hugely popular River-to-Ridge Trail is not only one of the most popular outdoor recreation destinations in New York’s Ulster County, it is also actively protecting local water quality within the adjoining Wallkill River. Today, as an estimated 200,000 annual visitors run, cycle, and stroll along the trail, they recreate alongside OSI projects that will continue to improve on the land’s natural water-filtration properties.

In northern New Jersey, OSI scored a double win for drinking water. In Morris County, OSI unveiled the permit-ready design for the 1,300-acre Boonton Reservoir Protection and Trail Project, which will add local recreational access, safeguard the source of clean drinking water for Jersey City, and create the Garden State's first new park since 2006. As with OSI’s Greenway project, these projects both combine unique opportunities for several municipalities’ increased public access while ameliorating long-term infrastructure and public health challenges resulting from combined sewage overflows after heavy rains.

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Next Story From the Field

2021 Year in Review: Improving Parks & Making the Outdoors More Welcoming

Before year’s end, OSI anticipates the addition of more than 25,000 acres to state and national parks and forests in Georgia, South Carolina, and New York.