September felt like the good old pre-COVID days: I was on the road almost daily – meeting with land trusts, legislators, and other community leaders, attending presentations and workshops, talking while walking, and planning for the 2024 legislature session with conservation advocates and agency partners.
It was awesome!
And in every conversation, one thing was clear: land trusts play a role as vital partners in addressing a range of environmental and societal issues at every level.
We know that land trusts are actively contributing to climate resilience by conserving natural habitats, protecting wetlands, and planting trees. Land trust work in preserving farmland and supporting community gardens helps to provide fresh, local food to those who need it most. Land trusts are pivotal in preserving critical ecosystems for maintaining healthy biodiversity. We also know that land trusts provide the public with access to recreation, relaxation, and experiential learning opportunities that span generations.
But what I also heard this month is that land trusts can do even more, and collaboration is key.
Land trusts can bring people together to create opportunities for farmland access, particularly for traditionally underserved producers. They can offer partnership opportunities to create affordable housing that’s sustainable and community-focused. They can be involved when communities consider options for renewable energy and “climate-smart” stewardship. Land trusts can ensure that more people from all walks of life feel welcome on their lands.
It has been inspiring to be part of these conversations with land trust representatives actively embracing their roles as thought leaders and agents for change. Our CLCC team is resolved to keep these conversations going at all levels, ensuring land trusts have a seat at every community table, where they can listen and also have their voices heard.
P.S. Please keep us posted about upcoming events in your community. We’d love to join you!