Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Valley Awards

Open Space Institute

Grant amount: US $5,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 26, 2019

Applicant type: Undergraduate Student Graduate Student

Funding uses: Fellowship, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in New York: Albany County, Columbia County, Dutchess County, Greene County, Orange County Expand all

Location of residency: Counties in New York: Albany County, Columbia County, Dutchess County, Greene County, Orange County Expand all

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Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Valley Awards

Supporting future environmental leaders in the Hudson River Valley

Each year, we present our Barnabas McHenry Hudson River Awards to up to five exceptional young area leaders in the fields of environmental conservation, historic preservation, the arts, and tourism. To mark our 10th anniversary, OSI piloted a fifth category, “Healthy Communities,” to support projects engaging specifically in food access, environmental justice or sustainability in the Hudson Valley.

Created in 2007, these awards honor philanthropist and conservationist Barnabas McHenry, a longtime OSI Trustee. Barney is passionate about supporting young leaders who share his appreciation for the Valley’s vibrant historical, artistic, and cultural resources.

Fund Criteria

The awards, up to $5,000 each, provide financial support for undergraduate or graduate students to pair with nonprofits in the Hudson River Valley region. Projects should educate local and academic communities, promote awareness around the history and environment, and invoke change. See a list of previous McHenry Fellows.

Applicants should show:

  • Demonstrated excellence in a chosen field and passion for their distinctive project.
  • Tangible benefits to local communities.
  • Impact on a student’s college or university that raises compelling dialogue.

Nonprofits receive $1,000 for sponsorship expenses.


Nonprofits can also reach out to college professors with potential internship opportunities to pass along to students. Here is a list of some colleges and universities in the Hudson River Valley area.


Our McHenry scholars’ projects and outreach have educated and inspired local residents, often leading to tangible community resources like a food bank or historical archive. Other projects have impacted the Valley through local newspaper publications, academic theses and dissertations, and community panel discussions.

How to Apply

Student Resources

Are you an undergraduate or a graduate student with a compelling project proposal but lack a partnership with a nonprofit organization? Here is a list of some nonprofit organizations in the Hudson River Valley you can contact about applying for a summer or year-long internship funded by the McHenry Award.

As a student candidate, your own college or university can also nominate you. The project would then be conducted in collaboration with either a professor or faculty member in place of a nonprofit organization.

Organization Resources

If you want your organization or college to be listed under student or organization resources, please email the McHenry Scholarship Contact with a brief summary of your organization’s mission and how a McHenry Award project directed by a young leader could further that mission. (Maximum 1 paragraph).

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Any nonprofit organization working in the Hudson Valley may nominate a candidate and his or her project.
  • Eligible candidates must be undergraduate or graduate students.
  • The project itself may be either a summer or a year-long internship.