Mr. Wade Martin Honored with National Conservation Service Award
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Contact: Rob Aldrich
Director of Communications
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Community Engagement Advances Conservation
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Every year, one land conservation leader is selected to receive the Land Trust Alliance’s prestigious National Conservation Service Award for making a significant contribution to the advancement of land conservation. Mr. Wade Martin, a tireless volunteer who has provided land trusts and landwoners across New Jersey with countless professional hours providing financial advice, estate planning and building collaborative relationships for the benefit of land conservation, was presented with the award this year at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference in Salt Lake City Utah, on September 30, 2012.
When Mr. Martin accepted the award, he said, “Growing up in a small town in New Jersey and watching the farmland disappear motivated me to find out how this development could be slowed. I grew up with farms, horses and cows around me; now there are cars, houses and bigger schools. I graduated from high school with 111 kids in my class and now my three children attend the same school with 500 kids per class.”
Mr. Martin’s first introduction to land preservation was in 1994, when he met Linda Mead from the D&R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton, NJ., at an educational seminar that D&R hosted for local financial advisors and which featured attorney Steve Small as the speaker. That meeting opened Mr. Martin’s eyes to how beneficial land preservation can be for everyone involved. As part of the Martin-Rizzo Group at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM), Mr. Martin has worked to make their clients aware of the benefits of land preservation. Mr. Martin, along with MSWM, has now taken the land preservation model nationwide to help other financial advisors and their land-owning clients explore various options in preserving their land and their families’ legacies.
Ms. Mead and Mr. Martin had a vision to train and educate land trusts and financial advisors across the country about working together to increase the pace of land conservation. This vision came to fruition in June 2012 at the Johnson Education Center, which is D&R Greenway’s base inNJ. In partnership with the Land Trust Alliance and D&R Greenway, MSWM hosted the National Pilot Training Program for land trust executives, attorneys and financial advisors. Eight land trusts, coupled with eight MSWM financial advisors and eight attorneys from each of the land trusts’ regions, were brought into Princeton for a two-day seminar. The participants left the training with a collective exclamation: “This is groundbreaking stuff.” The states represented were Colorado, Michigan, Connecticut, Alabama, New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Florida.
Mr. Martin has assisted in preserving land ranging from 1 acre to 2,000 acres. One of his most memorable land preservation projects was bridging the gap between an offer of $23m from a developer to build 143 houses on a large parcel of farmland and a land preservation offer of $14m to preserve the property. After working with the town, the landowner and their advisors, Mr. Martin was able to help the township bridge the financial gap and preserve the property in such a way that everyone came out a winner.
Mr. Martin has most recently been working with the Land Trust Alliance and its Corporate Council, of which MSWM is a founding member, on helping corporations be great partners in preserving land. Additionally, Mr. Martin is also involved in the Montgomery Township Education Foundation (MTEF), which supports expenses for children in town that the school budget does not cover. And he also works extensively with the disabled community, helping people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and other physical handicaps to live their lives to the fullest.
Still residing in the town he grew up in with his wife and three children, Mr. Martin’s current home is just around the corner from the house he grew up in, where his parents still live. The most rewarding experiences for Mr. Martin in working on behalf of land preservation are when his children see a sign that says preserved land and, when they ask, he can tell them that he had a part in preserving that land.
About the D&R Greenway Land Trust
D&R Greenway Land Trust is central New Jersey's nonprofit land preservation organization, founded in 1989 through the collaboration and vision of four organizations: the Stony Brook - Millstone Watershed Association, Friends of Princeton Open Space, Regional Planning Partnership, and the Delaware & Raritan Canal Commission. Founders, including Jim Amon, Rosemary Blair, Dennis Davidson, Sam Hamill, and Bob Johnston, realized that our region's open space was threatened with extinction. Their vision of an organization dedicated to the preservation of our remaining natural areas led to the creation of this small grassroots organization that completed the first nonprofit acquisition using Green Acres funds in 1992.
D&R Greenway Land Trust permanently preserves watershed lands and large-scale landscapes, thereby preventing the loss of open space to development. Our operating region consists of over 1,500 square miles, encompassing portions of the Delaware, Raritan and Millstone River watersheds and the Delaware & Raritan Canal. This includes Mercer, Hunterdon, Somerset, Middlesex, Burlington and Monmouth counties. We have broadened our work to include preservation of farmland in Salem County in the area of Mannington Meadows. Visit http://drgreenway.org.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, we increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, we enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Land Trust Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Alliance. Visit www.landtrustalliance.org.
Photo: Wade Martin/ ©Ed Lefkowicz, photographer