One of the things I love most about working in Connecticut’s conservation community is the willingness to collaborate and work together. Although many of Connecticut’s land trusts focus on the town in which they are based, there is a collective understanding that we are all part of something larger. The municipal boundaries drawn on maps mean nothing to migrating birds, flowing rivers, and the changing climate. Magical things happen in those moments when we consider our place in a larger landscape.
I felt a bit of that magic earlier this month, at the relaunch of the South Central Regional Land Conservation Alliance (SCRLCA), a Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) for the greater New Haven area.
In response to the growing interest and need for coordination and collaboration in this region, CLCC led efforts to relaunch the RCP. By fostering partnerships and strengthening ties among land trusts, municipalities, and other conservation stakeholders, the relaunched partnership aims to leverage collective knowledge and resources to achieve even greater conservation outcomes.
During this initial meeting, partners in the RCP identified several priorities that may guide future programs and projects, including:
- Establishing pollinator pathways;
- Creating a watershed-scale conservation plan;
- Promoting equitable access to nature; and
- Developing strategies for engaging the next generation of conservationists.
The RCP partners also used the meeting as an opportunity time to have a bit of fun while learning together. Thanks to our hosts at the Regional Water Authority, attendees were able to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lake Whitney Water Treatment Plant. The state-of-the art facility provides much of the drinking water for the New Haven area, and incorporates many “green” features, including the largest green roof in the state of Connecticut, and landscaping designed to manage stormwater while also providing native habitats and walking trails.
The relaunch of the RCP holds immense potential for conserving the region’s efforts to conserve and steward natural landscapes and biodiversity. By pooling together expertise, resources, and community support, partners will be better equipped to tackle the complex challenges facing land conservation in this region.
I look forward to seeing what comes next for this RCP.