FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Jennifer K. Grossman

Open Space Institute, Inc.
Vice President for Land Acquisition
New York, NY, USA


Jennifer Grossman, Esq.

Since 2000, Jennifer Grossman has served as Vice President for Land Acquisition at the Open Space Institute, Inc. located in New York City. Primarily responsible for implementing a multi-million dollar land acquisition throughout the State, she oversees a land program that focuses on identifying new parcels for open space protection, negotiating the terms of the transaction, and completing due diligence and developing disposition plans. She oversees the conservation strategy of the land staff, lectures on farmland protection and sustainable growth, leverages government and foundation grants and assists communities in open space planning. For the past four years, Jennifer has served as co-chair of the Highlands Coalition, a four-state, 180 member organization focused on preserving the watershed of more than 15 million people in the Northeast. She also is an advisor to Columbia University's Earth Institute and the Urban Design Lab.  Jennifer sits on the steering committee of the Hudson Valley Agricultural Partnership, Orange County Open Space Alliance, NYC DEP Land Trust Working Group and the NYS DEC Region 3 Advisory Board. Jennifer is also a board member of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, the Bronx River Alliance, the National Advisory Committee of the Atlantic Salmon Federation and the New York City Chapter of Trout Unlimited.   From 1993 through 2000, Jennifer served as senior counsel at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation where she provided legal support for the Hazardous Waste, Pesticide and Lands & Forests programs.  Jennifer received her law degree from Boston University School of Law and an undergraduate degree in both English Literature and Political Science from Binghamton University.

As Vice President for Land Acquisition at the Open Space Institute, I am primarily responsible for implementing a multi-million dollar land acquisition program in New York State, focusing on the Hudson River Valley.  This extends south to the periphery of New York City and as far north as the Adirondacks, east to almost the borders of Connecticut and west through the vast farmland and mountainous climbs of the Catskill Mountains. My primary role involves: (1) identifying new parcels for open space protection, either through personal or professional contacts with state and local officials, as well as direct communication with interested sellers, board members and other interested parties; (2) after site visits and background review, negotiating the terms of the transaction, either in an option agreement or purchase and sale agreement; (3) seeking surveys, appraisals, title research and environmental assessments on each parcel as part of OSI's required due diligence review; (4) closing the projects and handling all legal matters associated with the closing; (5) developing disposition plans for the management and stewardship of each acquired parcel, either via a management agreement or lease with local entities, land trusts or the State of New York; and (6) presenting each of the project proposals to the Land Committee and the Board of Trustees for review and approval. 

My role as a leader of OSI's land acquisition program requires coordination with both our comptroller to prepare,  review and amend annual budgets and with our development director to organize local fundraising efforts, enabling OSI dollars to leverage local monies. I review, approve and oversee projects pursued by our project manager in Albany and general counsel, both of whom who initiate their own acquisition projects in the northern and western sections of the Hudson River Valley, respectively. I supervise both OSI's Mid-Hudson Land Steward, who directs stewardship activities on OSI lands, as well as OSI's GIS technician regarding mapping needs and data development and have been primarily involved with employment decisions and job tasks regarding the receptionist position and seasonal staffers.

With both a legal and environmental background, my role has expanded over the past three years into one of conservation planning. For some landowners, I have assisted in developing their estate plans by incorporating land protection strategies and tax code benefits. For municipal entities, specifically those in rural communities, I have assisted in local planning efforts and identified those areas most in need of conservation focus for PDR projects. I represent OSI on several coalitions that require attendance and presentation at meetings and conferences. These include, but are not limited to,: Highlands Coalition, Hudson Valley Agricultural Partnership, Orange County Open Space Alliance, NYS DEC Region 3 Advisory Board. I coordinate OSI's efforts in the Joint Venture with the Trust for Public Land, bringing in numerous projects, and more recently have led an effort with the JV, on behalf of fellow "third parties", to accomplish some of the key acquisition goals of the New York City DEP.

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