For the Open Space Institute, 2022 was a year of record-breaking deals for land protection and transformative improvements around public access to nature and open space.
And in every deal and project completed this year, OSI’s expertise, creativity, and dogged determination were absolutely critical to these successes.
With these achievements — which will yield long-term benefits for people and wildlife up and down the eastern United States — we have proven, once again, that OSI is in a class by itself in getting complex and stalled deals across the finish line.
Land protection has never been more important and more in demand across the country. There is a growing understanding that protected land is providing solutions that will sustain the planet, provide clean drinking water, improve recreational opportunities, and build healthy communities.
Our extensive successes and growing skillsets uniquely position OSI to leverage historic levels of public funding, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the newly enacted Inflation Reduction Act, record-setting state funding in places like New York and South Carolina, and expanded local initiatives.
“To have OSI acquire this property is amazing and inspirational, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from their footprint throughout the Southeast.” - Local guide and naturalist Chris Crowley, on OSI's protection of Waties Island
By the close of this year, OSI expects to protect more than 48,000 acres across nine states and two countries. In fact, the total fair market value of the lands we’ve protected totals an astonishing $180 million. But this year’s achievements go way beyond property size and project costs – indeed, the current and future impacts of our work this year are nothing short of extraordinary. This year alone, we:
- Secured nine miles of rail line in northern New Jersey, to provide much-needed greenspace for the nation’s most densely populated and diverse region.
- Carved out a 12,000-acre corridor of ecologically critical land outside Beaufort, South Carolina — a region experiencing some of the most intense development pressures in the nation.
- Doubled the size of Georgia’s Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, one of America’s most important cultural landscapes.
- Expanded OSI’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund across 10 million acres of climate-critical land in western and central Pennsylvania.
- Published Open Spaces for All, a report with recommendations to make public land and other protected open spaces more welcoming and accessible to users of all backgrounds.
- Unveiled the Black River Master Plan to shape a 70-mile water trail and park network in rural South Carolina.
- Completed a two-year, $1.5 million project overhauling 9.5 miles of multi-use trails in New York's Fahnestock State Park to better accommodate a range of park users.
Read on to learn more about these and other victories, and please consider a year-end gift to help continue our work protecting the land you love and welcoming more people to enjoy nature and open space. Together, we are saving land for people, for wildlife, forever.
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