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Regional Advancement Initiatives

Connecticut Land Trust Advancement Initiative: Building Stronger Land Trusts through Regional Collaboration and Community Conservation

A CLCC program commenced in October 2014, the Connecticut Land Trust Advancement Initiative helps land trusts bring conservation to a wider audience, and engage people from all walks of life. Each initiative is uniquely suited to a particular region, and engages land trusts in collaborative work with both conservation and non-conservation partners to expand organizational reach and impact. Results of this program have included the creation of Regional Conservation Partnerships, increased community awareness and relevance, and deeper engagement with new audiences and user groups.

Current Advancement Initiatives

2022-2023 Northeast CT Advancement Initiative — Bringing Conservation to New Audiences

Building on our previous efforts in this region, the Northeast CT Advancement Initiative is focused on increasing inclusivity and expanding access to conservation work. CLCC will connect land trusts with different user groups who will assist land trusts in making their properties and/or programs more welcoming and accessible to a broader and more diverse community of users.

In phase one, we will work closely with community user groups to perform an accessibility assessment of the participating land trusts’ current trails and/or outdoor programs. In phase two, we will reflect on the assessment findings through a series of roundtable dialogue sessions and explore next steps to implement more inclusive trails and programming. Participating land trusts and user groups will also be encouraged to share their experiences and findings through broader regional conversations and conference workshops hosted by CLCC.

This program is generously supported by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

2022 Northwest CT Advancement Initiative — Looking Beyond the Usual

CLCC is delighted to offer, with support from the Connecticut Community Foundation, a new round of roundtable discussions among land trust peers, community groups, and municipal partners in Northwest CT, centered around expanding our perspective on what conservation means to us and the community at large.

Facilitated by equity trainers, Ashley Stewart and David Sutherland, this initiative will engage conservationists and others interested in land use with introducing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility into their conservation work, and use these topics as a lens to brainstorm ways to work locally and in partnership with non-conservation community organizations for a shared, equitable purpose.

General topics include: Looking at Conservation More Broadly; Conservation that Addresses Social and Environmental Needs: Community Land Trusts, and Accessibility in Nature.

Success Stories

Learn more about the impact of CLCC's recently completed advancement initiatives

Wood thrush bird on a branch in Hartman Park in Lyme
Tom Ouellette Tomouellettephotodesign.com

2021-2022 New London County Advancement Initiative

Increasing Understanding and Fostering Collaboration to Broaden Conservation Impact

The overarching goal of the program was to address DEIJ issues by fostering greater awareness of community needs and issues and exploring opportunities to address those needs through partnerships between area land trusts and “non-traditional partners” — i.e. community groups that provide services involving public health, economic development — particularly housing, disabilities, food security, and others.

Sunset over an open field

2021 Litchfield Hills/Waterbury Region Land Trust Advancement Initiative

Developing a Strategic and Comprehensive Conservation Vision

Working with Environmental and Equity Consultants, Ashley Stewart and David Sutherland, CLCC offered a series of five dialogue sessions for participating land trusts. These sessions explored diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion in land conservation, and gave participants an opportunity to examine these topics as they relate internally to their own organizations and externally in their programming and outreach.

Early morning mist on a pond

2021 Northeast Connecticut Advancement Initiative

Improving Communications and Community Engagement Through Inclusive Regional Conservation

CLCC and The Last Green Valley (TLGV), together with land trusts in Eastern Connecticut, worked to advance regional conversations around climate, equity, and social justice. Given their grassroots nature, their community ties, and with the abundant public spaces they protect, land trusts are well poised to address these issues.