It gives me great pride to share with you the Open Space Institute’s 2023 Year-in-Review. This impressive compilation proves, once again, that OSI is in a class by itself when it comes to using smart, bold land conservation and visionary leadership to produce spectacular results.
Before year’s end, OSI is on track to protect and add more than 50,000 acres to federal, state, and local parks and forests. From conserving forests and wetlands to creating trails, parks, and greenways, OSI continues to embrace and tackle new challenges to connect communities, expand access to recreation, protect wildlife, safeguard sources of clean water, and increase wildlife and ecosystem resilience in a changing climate. As the impact of our work continues to grow, OSI is committed to leading the field and developing innovative solutions that benefit us all.
In 2023, with your support, OSI:
- Launched the Growing Greenways: West of Hudson Greenway Trails Vision Plan to create trail connections between dozens of communities and better connect people of Ulster, Sullivan, and Orange counties to the land and to each other.
- Quickly completed an impressive round of inaugural Growing Greenway projects, including the acquisition of nearly three miles of trail corridors and the restoration and creation of more than 12 miles of carriage roads and other greenway trails in the region.
- Was tapped to lead a major upgrade to the National Forest Carbon Monitoring System funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program that will help land managers, conservationists, and land trusts better understand and use forest carbon data in their efforts to combat climate change.
- Played a vital role in the decades-long effort to create the Paint Rock River National Wildlife Refuge in Tennessee, the nation’s newest wildlife refuge, safeguarding the headwaters of Paint Rock River.
- Secured $4.6 million in federal funding for the OSI-led Black River Initiative to advance a 70-mile-long network of riverside parks that will transform communities throughout a rural region in South Carolina.
- Added much-needed parkland in fast-growing, heavily populated communities in South Carolina by doubling the size of Congaree Creek Nature Preserve in Columbia and creating a new 450-acre park in North Charleston.
- Initiated a major trail improvement project at New York’s Fahnestock State Park, capping a 10-year effort to improve public access to OSI-protected lands in the northern section of the park.
- Celebrated advancements in the Boonton Reservoir Protection and Trail Project in northern New Jersey to create public recreational access to the 1,300-acre reservoir property – while improving water quality for the people of Jersey City.
As 2023 draws to a close, our continued success depends on your support. Please consider a year-end gift to help OSI protect the land we love and need. Together we can achieve more great conservation and recreation projects in the year ahead.
Kim Elliman, President & CEO
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