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Year-in-Review 2020: Improving Parks and Increasing Access

Through land conservation and park improvement projects, OSI continues to create new opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors.

Before year’s end, OSI is anticipating the addition of almost 13,000 acres to state and national parks and forests in Georgia, South Carolina, and New York.

This year, OSI refocused its efforts on Minnewaska State Park Preserve, whose size OSI has more than doubled over three decades — a story told in our Saving the Shawangunks Story Map, finalist for the international Esri StoryMapper of the Year award. In OSI’s latest victory at Minnewaska, the park’s much-anticipated Visitor Center opened its doors in the fall, with striking architecture and educational exhibits led by OSI and core supporters.

See the International Award-Winning 'Saving the Shawangunks' Story Map

In other groundbreaking public-private initiatives, OSI laid the groundwork for the launch of the Essex-Hudson Greenway, a game-changing linear park project in the most densely populated region of New Jersey; is on track to complete the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail improvement project to enhance public safety and access; and expanded Bluestone Wild Forest to enhance mountain biking and other recreational opportunities in the southeast section of the Catskill Park.

Elsewhere in New York, an OSI acquisition brought a long-awaited, 13-mile recreational green corridor in New York’s Palmertown Range closer to reality. And, OSI advanced construction for a trailhead and parking area that will improve access to many popular High Peaks Wilderness Area trails within the Adirondacks.

Meanwhile in South Carolina, locals hailed the conservation of White Oak, which will connect to two popular recreational trails for cycling and more. OSI also protected its sixth property to safeguard a future safe park along South Carolina’s Black River: protection of “Hinds-Canada” will offer new recreational offerings along the river – renowned for its magnificent paddling, birding, and fishing opportunities – and continue to mitigate flooding in downstream communities.

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