All across America, people are working with land trusts to save the places that make their community special — farms, forests, scenic views, parks, trails, swimming holes, community gardens and more. They bring energy, creativity and local knowledge of their community.
Land trusts are powered by passionate local supporters, volunteers and landowners. And there are a lot of these folks. The Land Trust Alliance represents more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide.
Through all of these connections, land trusts harness three fundamental American values: private initiative, community cooperation and a deep connection to the land. They are as diverse as the people and communities they serve, but they share a common mission: to protect the places that people value most.
Benefits for Local Communities
Getting involved with your local land trust is a great way to give back to your community. In many ways, it’s also a smart investment in the place you call home. Land conservation helps to protect the qualities that make your community a great place to live — and make it even better. Your community can benefit from:
- Local food: Preserving farm and ranch land means more opportunities for fresh, local food.
- Clean water: Healthy landscapes filter the water that flows into our drinking supplies.
- Scenic views: Natural beauty gives us joy — and it boosts property values, too.
- Recreation: We all get more places to go outside and play.
- Education: Both children and adults can learn about the natural world. Plus, time in nature enhances attention and creativity.
- Economic Growth: Conservation supports industries including agriculture, forestry, tourism, and recreation.
- Health: People benefit from clean air and water. Plus, getting out in nature can improve fitness and reduce stress.
- Community: People bond by working together to protect and restore local places.
More than ever, land trusts are focused on improving the lives of as many people as possible in their communities. An increasing number of land trusts are prioritizing community conservation — an approach that starts with listening to diverse partners and orienting projects to meet community needs.