Across the country, communities and ecosystems are experiencing climate change and grappling with its unknowns. How much will temperatures rise and how quickly? How will these changes impact the forests, streams, and wildlife we protect?

Despite this uncertainty, scientists agree: land protection is, and will remain, a key strategy for ensuring that natural systems — and the plants, animals, and people that depend upon them — can continue to thrive.

Since 2012, The Open Space Institute has been helping land trusts and other groups that protect and steward land develop effective approaches to conserving land in a rapidly changing climate. Working alongside our capital grants program that funds the acquisition of land that is resilient and stores and sequesters carbon, OSI has supported the development of over 70 climate-aligned conservation plans and offered workshops, webinars, and trainings to over 6,000 participants.

OSI’s Catalyst Program currently focuses on addressing the following climate issues: habitat resilience, forest carbon storage and sequestration, and community resilience to climate impacts such as flooding. We support conservation groups and communities by offering planning grants and technical assistance, authoring guidance documents, and hosting workshops.

The Open Space Institute (OSI) announced the availability of Land and Climate Catalyst Planning Grants through a collaboration with the Land Trust Alliance. The Land and Climate Grant Program ($300,000 is available in the 2023 grant round) will offer funding and technical support to land trusts, other not-for-profit organizations, and state and federally recognized Tribes, to integrate climate science into strategic land protection or forest stewardship plans.

Land trusts may also apply for climate-informed land conservation planning or communications technical support from the Land Trust Alliance. Qualified applicants can apply for grants between $5,000 – $15,000 and/or for one-on-one technical support. All projects must be completed within twelve months.

Applications will be accepted through June 8, 2023. To learn more, please register for an applicant information session on May 2nd from 2 – 3:15 pm Eastern.

The Program will provide support for the development of strategic land protection or forest stewardship plans that promote 1) habitat resilience, 2) carbon mitigation and/or 3) community adaptation to climate impacts such as flooding, drought, fire, or extreme heat.

Read the full request for proposals and submit an application through the Land Trust Alliance website here. Please note that all applications must be submitted through the Land Trust Alliance’s grants management system Foundant.

The Program encourages proposals that address the inequitable burdens of climate change and environmental racism on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and low-income communities.

The Program complements OSI’s capital grantmaking through the Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, which has a goal of permanently protecting 50,000 acres of climate resilient lands that store and sequester atmospheric carbon.

We invite you to review the request for proposals, reach out with questions, and share this information with your networks.

Program staff will also offer three virtual “office hours” sessions where applicants can ask questions and receive feedback on project proposals. Please use this link to schedule a 20-minute individual consultation during one of the three sessions:

  • Office Hours Session 1: May 15, 2023 – 12-2 PM Eastern
  • Office Hours Session 2: May 23, 2023 – 2-4 PM Eastern
  • Office Hours Session 3: May 24, 2023 – 2-4 PM Eastern

Please contact OSI Conservation Planning Manager Hallie Schwab ([email protected]) with any questions.