Open Space Institute
Open Space Institute
Focus on Access

From Kim Elliman: Celebrating Land for Access
This year, we commemorate Earth Day with a renewed commitment to public access. The public’s yearning for parks and protected land in times of human crisis has become a national story over the past two months. This need to reconnect with the outdoors reminds all of us in the conservation community that much more needs to be done to ensure that all people can access nature for the nourishment it provides our bodies, minds, and souls. Read on for updates on some of OSI’s recent projects that demonstrated this ongoing commitment to building the connection between people and the land. We at the Open Space Institute wish you well and a happy Earth Day.
River-to_Ridge Trail Gunks
Recreation & Refuge at River-to-Ridge trail
OSI’s popular River-to-Ridge Trail is proving to be a much-needed resource for recreation and refuge for the people of New Paltz. "Always an amazing public amenity, the River-to-Ridge Trail has proved to be even more of an irreplaceable resource during the pandemic," said Tim Rogers, mayor of the Village of New Paltz.
Georgia Opens Ceylon WMA to Public
Just months after OSI and The Conservation Fund protected the 16,000-acre Ceylon property along the Georgia coast, the state’s Department of Natural Resources has opened this remarkable place to the public for hiking, birding, hunting, and fishing.
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A Gift to Pennsylvania Nature-Lovers
A return to Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge, where OSI and its partners last year secured a hard-won victory: 4,300 additional acres for recreation within the refuge, and forest lands that protect drinking water within the greater Delaware River Watershed.
Bethel ME Community Forest Jerry Monkman
Community Forests Strengthen Towns
Since 2010, OSI’s Community Forest Fund has helped to support the creation and expansion of 25 community forests, providing nearby recreational access and bolstering local economies throughout Northern New England. OSI’s support for community forests continues, with two more slated to close this summer in New Hampshire.
Tennessee Trails Fiery Gizzard 555
A Virtual Visit to the Cumberland Plateau
Much has happened atop the Southern Cumberland Plateau since OSI debuted its award-winning “Saving the Southern Cumberlands” Story Map in 2018 — including the conservation of 1,335 more acres for recreation and habitat for this unparalleled natural place. Though some of these properties are currently closed due to the pandemic, nature-lovers await the day they can once again be open to the public.
Tahawus Furnace 555
OSI Adirondack Property Revitalized
OSI’s efforts to improve public access at its 212-acre Tahawus/Adirondac Upper Works property are getting underway. Construction is set to begin this spring on a project that will better accommodate a growing number of visitors to the Adirondack High Peaks, while improving the hiking experience and protecting precious natural resources.
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