Click here to download a large PDF map
Capitalized with a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable
Foundation, the Resilient Landscape Fund (Fund) provides capital grants and
loans to land protection projects within selected regions of the northeast,
mid-Atlantic and central Appalachians. Projects must lie in one of OSI’s four Resilient
Landscapes, demonstrate the use of Resilient Landscape concepts and meet the
other grant criteria detailed below.
OSI awards grants to qualified non-profit
organizations through a competitive process with the assistance of an advisory
board comprised of experts with knowledge of natural resources, conservation
policy and land conservation funding.
Geographic Focus Area
Through an in-depth review process (Download a PDF of Landscape Selection Process), OSI has selected the following four Resilient Landscapes to target funding. Click on the region to download a PDF fact brochure with maps:
Potomac Headwaters – West Virginia & Virginia
Highlands and Kittatinny Ridge – New Jersey & Pennsylvania
Middle Connecticut River – Vermont & Massachusetts
Southern New Hampshire & Maine Forests
All applications must be
submitted through OSI’s online application. Prior to submitting an application please review the Definitions and
Data Guide, Frequently
Asked Questions, and Grant Criteria below.
We encourage applicants to contact
OSI staff to discuss your project before preparing a proposal.
West Virginia and Virginia projects:
New Jersey and Pennsylvania projects:
Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont projects: Jennifer Melville
GIS Analysis and Maps
To determine eligibility and to assess your project’s resiliency
attributes, GIS analysis is required. OSI ‘s Definitions
and Data Guide defines and explains resiliency concepts, details map requirements
for capital grant applicants and provides examples of the required maps. The
companion map package emphasizes the components of resiliency that are core to
OSI’s Initiative and that are priorities in our Capital Grants.
Download the Definitions and Data Guide and the Map
The Nature Conservancy’s resiliency data is available at three different scales
(90 meter, 1,000-acre hexagons and focal areas). TNC also provides an overview
of these datasets in the Resilient
Sites Dataset description.
The full TNC report and associated data from
which OSI’s data is derived is available here.
If your organization does not have GIS capacity, please contact OSI well
before you submit an application to determine eligibility and, if appropriate,
for help with map preparation.
For GIS assistance, contact:
Capital Grant applications will be accepted from January 16, 2014 through March 18, 2014 at 5pm. To apply click here.
To be notified about future grant rounds please
sign up here.
To learn more about the grant fund, please click here.
Grant Fund Webinar
webinar on OSI's Resilient Landscapes Fund was held on February 5, 2014. Listen and view slides to the webinar.
* Please review the Definitions and Data Guide for
definitions of the terms used below, to determine eligibility and to determine
To be eligible for funding, projects must meet all of the
following threshold criteria:
- Lie within an OSI Resilient Landscape *
- Rank above average for Landscape Resiliency *
- Achieve permanent protection of resilient habitat through fee
purchase of land or a conservation easement
- Meet or exceed OSI conservation easements standards (See
standards below for conservation easement projects)
- Be spearheaded by an organization with the capacity and
financial ability to execute the transaction and ensure long term stewardship
and management of the property consistent with the Fund’s objectives.
- Be completed within 18 months of receiving notification of OSI’s
OSI will evaluate projects that meet the threshold criteria against the
- Extent and type of Underrepresented Geophysical Settings found
on the property*
- Extent of the property that ranks above-average for Landscape Complexity*
- Extent and condition of plant and animal species and natural
communities found on the property
- Role of the project, either alone or in conjunction with
existing protected areas, to help ensure the long term viability of plant and
- Threat to the property and/or particular conservation
opportunity presented by the project
- Evidence of a stewardship plan for the long term conservation of
the property that is consistent with the Fund’s objectives.
- Prospects for 5:1
or greater financial leverage. OSI will only approve projects with less than
5:1 match in exceptional circumstances. (See match requirements below)
- Evidence of the applicant’s interest in and ability to advance
the use of resiliency science to ensure climate adaptation for species
- Ability of the project to illustrate the importance of resilient
landscape conservation and/or to catalyze other projects that will protect
- Evidence that the land trust receiving funding from and/or
holding property funded through an OSI Resilient Landscape grant is accredited
by the Land Trust Commission or has a reasonable plan and timeframe for
attaining accreditation that has been adopted by the land trust’s board.
Eligible Uses of Funds
Grants may be used to acquire permanent conservation easements
and fee interest in land. In exceptional cases, grants may be applied to cover
transactional costs, including cost of appraisals, surveys, title, and
environmental assessments. The Fund may also provide short-term low-interest
loans for projects that require bridge financing and that meet the grant
criteria. Grant funds cannot be used for endowments, stewardship costs, baseline
documentation reports, staff time, buildings or other non-capital project
OSI staff and the Fund’s Advisory Committee review applications
and, based on that review, staff makes recommendations to OSI’s Conservation
All grant awards are subject to the approval of OSI’s Conservation Capital
Committee. Projects must close within 18 months of OSI’s grant approval.
Once OSI has approved a grant, we will provide the grantee with a checklist of
items required for OSI to prepare a grant agreement. When all required
information and documents are received, OSI will forward a grant agreement to
the grantee. If applicable, the grantee must provide documents pertaining to
each project phase and match parcel. OSI will release funds at the time the
Conservation Easement Standards
OSI staff will review conservation easement language prior to
distribution of grant funds to ensure that the easement meets the Fund’s goals.
OSI will work with grantees to provide guidance in a timely manner.
Conservation easement provisions should ensure protection of the project’s
natural resource values and resiliency characteristics. Active forest
management and farming are allowed in some instances but must be secondary
purposes to conservation of natural resources on the property.
Easement provisions must, at a minimum, include the following:
enforceable standards for permanent protection of natural resource values;
workable monitoring and enforcement provisions;
process for communication between the easement holder and landowner;
- provisions ensuring sustainable forest management, if vegetation
management is allowed;
- a stewardship or management plan process; and, baseline
- To the extent practicable, conservation easements that allow commercial timber
harvesting should require Forest Stewardship Council certification.
Grant Amount and Matching Requirement
Although there is no minimum or maximum grant size, awards are typically between $100,000 and $400,000.
OSI will give strong preference to projects with a 5:1 or greater financial match. OSI will fund projects with less than 5:1 match only in exceptional circumstances. Prior to grant distribution grantees must provide a detailed accounting of all matching sources.
The following qualify as matching funds:
- Public funds (federal, state and local) and private funds from
individuals and foundations used for the acquisition of fee interest or a
conservation easement on the subject property or on eligible match properties.
- The value of a donated conservation easement or bargain sale on
the subject property.
- The value of eligible match properties (see below).
- Transaction and other acquisition costs, including appraisals,
surveys, environmental assessments, title exams and insurance, recording fees,
transfer and real estate taxes, property carrying costs and fees for outside
Match Property Eligibility
To be eligible as match, property must 1) be adjacent or proximate to the subject
property, 2) meet the Fund’s criteria, 3) be part of a larger plan that
includes conservation of the match and subject properties, and 4) close prior
to the closing of the subject property but not more than one year before date
of application. In addition, to determine eligibility of match parcels OSI will
consider whether the match and the subject properties lie in the same watershed,
geophysical setting, TNC Resilient Focal Area, Forest Matrix Block, natural
community and/or State Wildlife Action Plan priority area.
The following do not qualify as matching funds:
- Ecological or land restoration dollars
- Stewardship endowments and land management expenses
- Staff time, travel or expenses
Download a PDF copy of the application here. All applications must be submitted through our online service here.
General Information & Application
212-290-8200 x 311
Outreach Program and Catalyst Grants
West Virginia and Virginia
New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont Jennifer Melville
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