Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Your Environment Podcast

Kim Elliman speaks about OSI's partnership with the Center for Discovery on the
monthly Your Environment podcast. Stream and listen to Your Environment
on the Mid-Hudson News website: www.midhudsonnews.com.

Kim Winter Web Header

December 12, 2014 –The shadows continue to grow longer as winter settles in. In the Hudson Valley, Minnewaska State Park Preserve’s crystalline sky lakes and its numerous waterfalls sit suspended in time. Soon life will slow down as well for the residents of the Hudson Valley, as they gather with friends and family to observe the rest of the holiday season.

In this season of reflection, the mind naturally turns to those major events that defined the past year.

For us, here at the Open Space Institute, it is always a triumph when our love of seeking out and preserving the most vital pieces of land harmonizes with the broad-minded vision of others. We delight when many benefit from our land preservation, or when we are able to link the puzzle pieces we preserve to create an ever-growing expanse of open space.

All of these elements came together earlier this year in our newest project for The Center for Discovery.

Over the past 60 years, The Center, found just nearby the Hudson Valley in Sullivan County, has become a nationally known provider of health, educational and residential services for children and adults with severe disabilities, medical frailties, and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Center’s Discovery school, tailored for children ages 5-21, features a unique and holistic curriculum that helps residents see themselves as interdependent with the larger world through farming and being outdoors.

That’s where we at the Open Space Institute have been able to lend a hand.

Through the years, the Open Space Institute’s ongoing partnership with The Center for Discovery has protected nearly 750 acres of farmland. This year the Open Space Institute acquired a 165-acre parcel where young adults with autism can learn life skills and gain independence through interacting with the natural world. Photos from The Center show how much the existing farmland means to The Center’s residents, with residents and Center staff harvesting apples, feeding chickens, planting seeds, and enjoying the fruits of their labors with the benefit of chef-prepared meals.

A second acquisition: A nine-mile-plus rail trail that winds through The Center’s campus. After renovation, the trail will become part of a larger, interconnected Hudson Valley network spearheaded by the Open Space Institute and its partners, connecting towns, villages, hamlets, and cities, with state parks, state forest preserves, wildlife management areas, city parks, county parks, town parks, non-profit nature preserves, and recreational trails, including the Long Path. It will also span three major rivers: the Hudson, Wallkill, and Rondout.

Our vision, combined with theirs—all for the greater good.

As you make your New Year’s resolutions this holiday, what should be your 2015 priorities?

Consider this: a 2010 study from the University of Rochester found that being outside for just 20 minutes a day increased energy and vitality.

This holiday, I hope you will consider a year-end gift to the Open Space Institute. You’ll see your donation recycled back to you when you take an invigorating hike in the woods and feel your own interconnection with nature. We appreciate the good your contribution helps us do.

Happy holidays, everyone!


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