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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.

Bird & Hike Program

Bird & Hike with CT Land Trusts is a pilot community engagement program with the goal of providing communities of color with opportunities for guided birding and hiking on land trust properties, nurturing lifelong connections and a sense of belonging and comfort in the outdoors. With underwriting support from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, CLCC has organized events in partnership with Salem Land Trust (SLT) and Outdoor Afro New Haven/Hartford at SLT's Walden Preserve; East Granby Land Trust and Grow Hartford Youth Program at Keney Park; and Aspetuck Land Trust and Green Village Initiative at Aspetuck's Randall Farm Preserve. More events are in the works.

If your land trust is interested in collaborating with CLCC on a Bird & Hike event, contact Yaw: yodarko@ctconservation.org

Success Stories

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

Scenic photo at a preserve in the summertime

2022 Northwest Advancement Initiative

bringing diversity, equity, inclusion, justice (DEIJ) and accessibility into community conservation work

The panelists brought the roundtable discussions to newer heights. With each introduction and presentation of their projects and missions, participants began to engage thoughtfully in how they could do more to engage with and assist their communities. Panelists brought together varied experiences and histories of the towns they are situated in, welcoming questions on projects and how they were able to navigate stakeholders and balance conservation and community.

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.

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.