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About the Midwest

The thirteen states of the Midwest region host a vast diversity of landscapes, ecosystems, and working lands.  From the northern reaches of Appalachia, to the majestic Great Lakes, to the Great Plains and farmland of the central U.S., this region is anchored by a community of 250 local and regional land trusts that have collectively saved well over half a million acres.

Throughout the Great Lakes watershed, which contains 20% of the world’s freshwater resources, 105 land trusts have been working with private landowners, local units of government and federal agencies to protect the wetland habitats, stream corridors, and undeveloped uplands that comprise this unique ecosystem.  The concentration of land trusts in this region is one of the highest in the nation, affording land trusts a unique position to protect watersheds and landscapes on a large scale.

Across the Midwest, unique and effective land conservation partnerships have been working to protect some of the nation’s greatest treasures.  The Blufflands Alliance, formed in 1993 through the leadership of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, has demonstrated an effective collaboration of organizations, individuals and landowners working to inspire a common vision of the region in the protection and preservation of the bluffs along the Mississippi River. The partnership began with a prioritization of the most scenic and important bluffs along 350 miles of the upper Mississippi.

In the greater Chicago area, a coalition of twelve land trusts has been working together since 2001 to advance cooperation and land conservation, with the ultimate goal of establishing a visionary, structured, and sustainable collaborative land trust coalition to increase the pace of conservation into the future.


How We Help

  • Guided Organizational Assessment Program - helps land trusts identify areas for improvement and prepare for Accreditation in the Great Lakes Watershed and Ohio.

  • Mentoring and Coaching - provides tailored, in-depth technical assistance and organizational planning to assist land trusts in addressing critical transitions, leadership development, strategic planning, and other organizational development needs.

  • Facilitation and Mediation - help land trusts resolve internal and external conflicts and other challenges by offering a third party intermediary to facilitate outcome-oriented processes.

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Success Story
A Model for Conservation

A Model for Conservation

Dana Livingston started simple. Soon after moving to Dubuque in 1995, he began volunteering his time to restore a local natural area – and then others. He served on a couple of conservation committees – and then many more. Three years ago, Dana and local partners launched Future Talk, an innovative program that helps inner-city youth experience and protect nature.

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