Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Your Environment Podcast

On this week’s Your Environment podcast, Terrence Nolan discusses OSI’s 2013 conservation successes. Stream and listen to Your Environment on the Mid-Hudson News website: www.midhudsonnews.com

Terrance Nolan Your Environment Podcast

January 10, 2014 — It’s a new year for the Open Space Institute, and we look forward again in 2014 to protecting the most important lands—the places where we play outdoors, the farms that grow our food and the wildlife habitat that will help preserve the delicate balance of nature as we move ahead in a climate-changed world.

2013 was also a great year for OSI and our partners, and many of our conservation successes happened right here in the Hudson River Valley.

Last month, Kim Elliman told you a little about our recent transfers of more than 1,000 acres to the Minnewaska State Park Preserve in Ulster County. In 2013, OSI added more than 3,700 publicly accessible acres to the state’s network of parks and preserves. Our additions to Minnewaska included Sam’s Point, the highest point on the entire Shawangunk Ridge.

Adding Sam’s Point to the public preserve was symbolic for us because it capped a nearly 30-year effort, over which OSI and many partners more than doubled Minnewaska’s size. Now 21,190 acres and all open to the public, Minnewaska is one of the crown jewels of the Hudson Valley.

Another major accomplishment in 2013 was the reopening of the historic Rosendale trestle. Standing 150 feet above the Rondout Creek, the trestle had been closed for repairs for nearly three years. With tremendous support from residents in Rosendale and the surrounding communities, OSI and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust raised the funding to restore the trestle, and it is now probably the most scenic highlight along the 24-mile Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. 

In Orange County, OSI protected land in the corridor between the Black Rock Forest and Schunnemunk Mountain State Park. This was a project that provides important connectivity for wildlife on the move. Not only that, but the topography and complex features of the land we protected will offer what’s known as “resilient” habitat, water and food sources for animals well into the future, even as our climate continues to change.

And finally, OSI’s Alliance for New York State Parks raised half a million dollars to repair the Hamilton Point Carriage Roads, also at Minnewaska. The carriage roads are perfect for horseback riding, hiking and running, and in 2014 we’ll help restore them for the public’s use and enjoyment.

Many of these initiatives will carry over as we enter 2014. We’re still working to protect land at Minnewaska. We have a huge vision for an expanded and interconnected rail trail network in this part of the state, and we’ll continue to preserve the most strategic and important wildlife habitat.

I look forward to coming back here on Mid-Hudson News.com to talk about the work OSI is doing in the Hudson Valley. Until then, I hope you’ll get outdoors and visit these places. There’s nowhere better to restore and rejuvenate ourselves than in the natural world.

 

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