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Rally 2013: Gettin’ Jazzed Up in New Orleans

By Christina Soto, Editor, Land Trust Alliance

“I attended Rally to network, see what others are doing, learn more about specific practices and be part of the land trust community,” said one person who went to Rally 2013: The National Land Conservation Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 17 - 19. Another said “I really appreciated the sessions in which I was provided with tools that I could take home and apply directly to my work” while yet another commented, “I was encouraged to attend by my boss. I have already asked her to please send me to Providence next year!”

More than 1,500 land conservationists gathered in The Big Easy to network, gain insight into the latest trends in the land conservation movement and receive updated training from expert faculty. The first day of Rally offered in-depth seminars and field trip adventures, while the second and third days offered the choice of 95 workshops ranging from the important fundamentals of “Introduction to Conservation Easements” to the advanced learning in “Collaborative Fundraising for Conservation.”

Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance, welcomed participants and introduced the growing trend of land trusts engaging their communities, saying “America’s leadership, innovation and prosperity are now generated at the local level, and, in the world of conservation, this is an exciting time of change and innovation as land trusts partner with local communities.”

Rallygoers heard award-winning author Barry Lopez praise the work of land trusts, saying “You are not in my mind people tidying up the damaged world or the simple doers of good deeds. You’re warriors. You’re facing up to what most of us want to avoid.  You’re looking after the fate of people you’ve never met.”

As the three days of learning, networking and fun came to a close, one satisfied attendee commented, “I’d heard it was the best gathering of conservation professionals from across the country. Agreed!”

Rally by the Numbers

Participants –  1,559

Workshops – 95

Featured Sessions – 16

Seminars – 16

Field trips – 7

The Awards

  • The latest land trusts to achieve accreditation received recognition as they walked across the Opening Plenary stage. View the list of all 229 accredited land trusts on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission website »
  • Kingsbury Browne Conservation Leadership Award and Kingsbury Browne Fellowship at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: Larry Kueter, Colorado. Read the press release »
  • National Land Trust Excellence Award: Alachua Conservation Trust, Florida. Read the press release »
  • National Conservation Service Award: Nancy Hamill Winter, Illinois. Read the press release »
  • Advocacy Ambassador Award:  Rock Ringling, Montana Land Reliance
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Realty – National Land Protection Award: Friends of Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts. Watch video »

As per our agreement with Barry Lopez, the Land Trust Alliance is sharing Mr. Lopez’s Rally 2013 speech on video until December 31, 2013, with our member land trusts through our members-only website, The Learning Center. You must have a log-in to access the speech.

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