Nov 3, 2019
Ornstein-Schuler Hosts Wounded Warrior Retreat on Conserved Northern Alabama Property
Ornstein-Schuler Investments (“OSI”) hosted a retreat from November 1 to November 3 for our nation’s heroes and their families on a property with a conservation easement called Rock Fence. In partnership with The Barn Group Land Trust and the Wounded Warrior Project, OSI provided a rare opportunity for four veteran families to come together for a weekend full of recreational fishing, clay shooting, and other outdoor activities – all on the property’s grounds, which feature pristine wetlands, streams, bedrock shoals, forests, open fields, well-maintained trails, and a lake.
This was the seventh veterans retreat held on the property in just 18 months and there are another seven events planned in 2020. While OSI is no longer involved with real estate offerings where the donation of a conservation easement is an option, our company continues to be proud of how our past work in conservation benefits local communities.
“We are very proud to have played an important role in permanently protecting the Rock Fence property, which has become a haven for American veterans and their families,” said Ornstein-Schuler Chief Executive Officer Matt Ornstein. “Congress should protect and strengthen the incentives that made the conservation of the Rock Fence property possible, so that other properties like it can be permanently conserved and provide benefits to local communities for generations to come.”
In 2018, OSI investors donated a conservation easement on 433 acres of natural land in Northern Alabama to The Barn Group Land Trust, permanently protecting it from development. Today, that land is providing hope and healing to veterans and their families.
Designed for veterans disabled during service, the weekend-long retreat enabled veteran men and women to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of sprawling green space, clean air, untouched bodies of water, and nature trails. Outdoor activities such as recreational fishing and clay shooting also provided them invaluable opportunities to make lasting memories with their loved ones and restore kinships that may have been affected during service.
Military veterans often face challenges reintegrating into society after returning home from service, and study after study has shown that spending time in nature reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and aggression, and improves happiness, life satisfaction, and social connectedness. Psychologists have called these outdoor experiences “a green prescription.”
After a recent visit to the property with his children, a veteran wrote a letter thanking The Barn Group for a life-changing experience. “This was a new experience for both [my] boys,” he wrote, “and they really had the best time reconnecting with one another.” “As a veteran who has seen combat, I know the importance of making memories with your loved ones.”
OSI’s investors played an important role in permanently protecting the Rock Fence property and have permanently conserved more than 27,000 acres of ecologically valuable land in the Southeastern United States through conservation easement donations.