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Fall foliage scene in the mountains

As a convenor for land trusts across the state, CLCC recently hosted two summits for leaders of Connecticut’s land trusts – presidents and treasurers. These summits not only fostered dialogue and facilitated networking, but also gave land trust leaders an opportunity to reflect on their land trust’s recent successes and future opportunities. In this safe space, leaders also opened up about some of the challenges and concerns they were facing, making for a meaningful discussion all around.

A Wave of Enthusiasm at the President’s Summit

The air was filled with optimism at the President’s Summit, as land trust presidents shared a collective feeling of achievement and enthusiasm. Many presidents shared inspiring tales of their ongoing community engagement initiatives and how these endeavors were bearing fruit, driving positive change, and fostering deeper connections with their local communities. Others recognized the unprecedented amount of funding being directed to conservation and the associated opportunities that lie ahead.

Alongside these heartening stories, there was also important discussion on the future. Succession planning, the innovative Open Selection board recruitment process, and strategies for effectively training board members were hot topics. This summit highlighted the need for strategic thinking, foresight, and equipping the next generation of leadership with the right tools and training.

Treasurer’s Summit: Facing the Challenge Head-On

The Treasurer’s Summit started a bit differently, with nearly all participants sharing some feeling of concern. Together, we recognized that the role of a land trust treasurer is challenging and that finding qualified individuals who are passionate about the nuances of finance can be a challenge. But as the day unfolded, this shared concern led to camaraderie.

Despite the challenges, there was a collective realization that land trust Treasures are not alone in their struggles. By day’s end, participants left feeling fortified, having established a new support network. The collective wisdom in the room, combined with resources from CLCC and land trust peers, left attendees with a sense of renewed energy and hope for the future.

The Power of Peer Networking and Learning

Both summits emphasized the power of peer networking and learning. By sharing challenges, successes, and resources, we fortify our mission and pave the way for a more resilient conservation community. The feedback and insights gathered from these summits also provide CLCC with invaluable perspectives, allowing us to tailor our programs and resources to best serve the evolving needs of Connecticut’s land trusts.

The spirit of collaboration and determination is alive and thriving in Connecticut. At CLCC, we remain committed to supporting, uplifting, and advancing the work of CT land trusts, and helping to keep the promise of perpetuity.

Aaron Lefland
Deputy Director
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