On the state level, OSI remained strong supporters of New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), calling for the state to maintain funding for environmental programs critical to New York's recovery and prosperity. And in New Paltz, NY, OSI joined local conservation partners and leaders in securing passage of a local open space preservation fund.
Also this year, OSI’s Community Forest Fund helped to expand three community forests — one in Maine and two in New Hampshire — capping a decade-long effort that granted more than $2 million to support the creation and expansion of 25 community forests. In total, these efforts conserved more than 40,000 acres across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Not only did the pandemic lead to increased appreciation for OSI’s celebrated River-to-Ridge Trail, the amenity also hosted several events, including a native tree planting and the release of five rehabilitated peregrine falcons. Additionally, a new partnership between OSI and the Shawangunk Nordic Ski Association will maintain cross-country skiing along the trail starting this winter.
OSI’s Citizen Action groups also provided refuge for local communities during the pandemic. Kelly Street Garden, in urban New York City, provided cooking classes as well as fresh fruits, veggies and herbs for local residents, while Philadelphia-based Honoring the Future continued to harness art to raise awareness for climate change.