Like the mantra of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, the new frontiers of land protection will be to Conserve, Redevelop, and Undevelop. This session focuses on land trusts as new social entrepreneurs shepherding the movement from large-scale, raw land protection to small-scale, interconnected repurposing of land and its uses. Presenters will share their experiences and examples of working within, and developing new, legal, practical and functional frameworks for land trusts conserving, creating and interconnecting people and parcels of land for public parks, community gardens, cooperative farms and public forests; redeveloping, reimagining and reinventing the already-built environment for new public purposes such as affordable housing, recreation, and community places; and undeveloping, recovering and restoring developed, degraded, or polluted lands to support revitalized ecological and human systems.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center Price: $120 LT Member/$135 Gen Admission CLE: CLE
Learning Landscapes is an award-winning K-12 education program for the Feather River Land Trust. Learning Landscapes best practices provide a powerful synthesis for education and stewardship by identifying the historic opportunity to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with schools. Current national educational trends include a new framework for K-12 science education, Next Generation Science Standards and the adoption of Environmental Literacy Plans by 36 state departments of education. During this session, participants will study trends in community conservation and K-12 education, analyze several successful K-12 community conservation models, understand the specific strategies they employ and create a plan to develop a program for your own land trust.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Colorado Convention Center Price: $120 LT Member/$135 Gen Admission
This seminar will provide an introduction to the structure of federally recognized tribes and non-federally recognized tribes, the types of land that tribal governments have authority over and/or interests in and the growth of tribal conservation mechanisms, particularly Native land trusts and conservancies. Native American land trust leaders will discuss the specific strategies, tools and partnerships they are using to protect landscapes, watersheds, sacred sites, traditional use areas and cultural resources, followed by a guided, focused discussion on how to develop conservation partnerships that foster indigenous land stewardship and continued indigenous access to culturally important lands.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Colorado Convention Center Price: $120 LT Member/$135 Gen Admission
Pre-registration optional, but preferred.
Hosted by The Natural Areas Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service and Metro Denver Nature Alliance.
With 80% of Americans living in cities, conservation in urban areas has never been more important. Join colleagues from across the country to learn about innovative efforts to protect and managing nature in urban areas. Topics will include stewardship, citizen science, coalition building, and best practices. Please RSVP here.
As a land trust you have most likely formed at least one partnership with another organization. But forming a partnership with a Native American tribe is something different. There are 400+ years of history between Native people and non-Native people that factor into the psychology and practicalities of partnerships. There is a lot of opportunity to connect, partner, heal, and work together. How you start the conversation, how you structure meetings, the language you use and how you structure a project are all important. In this session we will discuss all of this and share examples of what has worked well (and not so well) in our experience. Having a tangible project to work together on can be a great way to build the partnership and build trust. There are foundations and individual donors that are interested in supporting projects between land trusts and the original caretakers of these lands. There are many ways of making the case for support in ways that are consistent with the partnership’s goals and with the funder’s interests. In this session we will hear why funders chose to support a project on the coast of California that returned land to a Native American tribe. We will watch two films and engage in a discussion where there are no bad questions.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
2005-2007 was an Odyssey as Greater Worcester Land Trust transitioned from a technical consulting resource, to a project partner and grant writer, to a real estate negotiator, and finally a long-term CE holder, for the 0.56 Acre Urban "Peace Park" in the City of Worcester. The "Peace Park" was the site of a former school that burned to the ground and remained a rubble filled corner lot for decades. The neighborhood is designated an Environmental Justice Neighborhood by the state for diversity of languages, ethnicity, incomes, density, and lack of access to open space.
When a local mother lost her son's life to a random act of violence on the site she joined with her neighborhood advocacy group to transform this corner from a symbol of abandonment and a lost life to a symbol of neighborhood unity, and a place of peace. At each step in this unlikely transformation partners found themselves dedicated to the project to provide a park in a neighborhood surrounded by busy thoroughfares, but without open space. This project brought in The Trust for Public Land, the Conway School of Design, the State Executive Office of the Environment, the City of Worcester and the City Office of Grant Writing. Through it all Women Together remained the anchor, vision and energy for bringing this project to conclusion.
Join your peers from across the country over lunch to talk about the latest developments, ask questions, and network with other practitioners. Lunch concessions available for purchase and then we will meet for a facilitated discussion. Hosted by Rob Wade, Plumas County Office of Education, Outdoor Programs Coordinator, and the Learning Landscapes Coordinator for the Feather River Land Trust.
Many corporations, land trusts, and other nonprofits recognize that diversity, equity, and inclusion are important elements of a strong organization. Each land trust may have a different reason to get into DE&I work: because of the need reach new people who love the land to fulfill our mission to protect it in perpetuity; because it is the morally right thing to do; or because studies that show more diverse organizations realize improved performance and increased sustainability. Even with the best intentions, it is often difficult to address these issues in our work. In this interactive and engaging session, participants will hear how other land trusts have tried to incorporate DE&I concepts into their organizations by asking questions, inviting conversation, and creating, monitoring and correcting a DE&I plan. We will discuss the definitions of diversity, equity and inclusion, how they interrelate, and why they are important. Next we will describe what a DE&I plan is and hear from land trust practitioners who have created DE&I plans about the challenges, benefits and impacts from their experiences. We will close by sharing resources available to create your own plan.
A cultural realignment with nature at the center, which land trusts can assist with through Community Conservation work, will ensure our great legal and scientific tools used to protect nature are not dismissed by a modern, wired society largely disconnected from the natural world. In this first workshop of a two-part series, participants will explore Community Conservation within the context of the evolving land conservation field, the cross-cultural phenomenon of natural sacred places, and what we can learn from various cultures, traditions, and their relationships with nature - including a special focus on Hawaiian culture. Participants should attend both workshops.
Deep community engagement is a fundamental component of successful community-based conservation planning. Throughout this interactive session, participants will learn more about community engagement strategies to deploy before, during, and after the planning process to maximize participation and to incorporate perspectives that reflect the demographics of the communities in which they work. This session will discuss potential challenges and present techniques to help garner trust, enthusiasm, and participation in the process. Taos Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land will use their shared work on community-based conservation and trail planning in Taos County as a case study in using a wide variety of strategies (both successful and not-so-successful) to engage local residents in setting priorities for land trusts and local governments. Workshop participants will have a chance to use key pad voting in a simulated community engagement exercise. This session will provide community leaders with a toolkit full of techniques to deepen engagement through interviews, partnerships, mapping exercises, social media strategies, ground-truthing, surveys, speak-outs, community events, and more.
A cultural realignment with nature at the center, which land trusts can assist with through Community Conservation work, will ensure our great legal and scientific tools used to protect nature are not dismissed by a modern, wired society largely disconnected from the natural world. In this second workshop of a two-part series, participants will explore Community Conservation by examining various cultures, traditions, and their relationships with nature - including a special focus on Native American cultures. Most attention will be on practical ways land trusts can incorporate traditional Community Conservation practices into their work. Participants should attend both workshops.
Please RSVP to CommunityConservation@lta.org
However you define it, each of us, individually and organizationally, sits at a distinct but evolving place with “community conservation.” Community conservation affects organizations in a number of positive ways. It also presents distinct challenges and areas for growth. You are invited to join a group of land trust practitioners who are interested in working with leaders and organizations around ideas and actions related to:
Understanding the distinct history of the places where we each work, the social dynamics (race, class and otherwise) at play in that history, and how history is present today in the communities where we work;
Examining how a broad array of social dynamics play themselves out in each of our organizations, and ways in which we can acknowledge and address these dynamics in the community work we do; and
Learning about and using approaches to engaging with our communities that are authentic, reciprocal, honor local knowledge and resident leadership, and leave key decisions to local partners.
Earlier this year, we surveyed land trusts about their community conservation work. The group will discuss the results of the survey, share information about progress, and collaborate on ideas for supporting community conservation work.
Green infrastructure has proven effective at helping cities manage stormwater and keep water out of the sewer system during peak storms...and brings many benefits for communities when it’s not raining. The Conservation Fund and Openlands present case studies from Atlanta and Chicago that use green infrastructure to support outdoor learning, connection with nature, workforce development and community wellness. Each prioritizes underserved and disadvantaged communities and addresses long term environmental degradation by engaging local residents in projects that focus on environmental, economic and social justice outcomes. Discussion will include workforce training and employment, community engagement and education strategies, green infrastructure applications and collaborative partnerships that include a cross section of nonprofits, foundations, corporations, government agencies and community groups. Atlanta has one of the nation’s lowest percentages of park space per capita. Many of the poorest neighborhoods are surrounded by urban development and suffer from flooding and sewage backups. The Conservation Fund, together with more than 35 partners, is creating lasting change in these neighborhoods, one park at a time. Through a community-driven process focused on the environment, the local economy, and most importantly, the people, two new Parks With Purpose are providing numerous benefits.
Space to Grow transforms Chicago schoolyards into beautiful and functional spaces to play, learn, garden and be outside. Space to Grow is led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands, and brings together capital funds and leadership from Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. This unique collaboration is dedicated to creating a brighter, greener, healthier future for our city. Each partner believes that schools are central to community life, making them ideal for collaboration.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
This session focuses on how Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR), the Trust for Public Land (TPL), Denver Urban Gardens (DUG), and The Colorado Health Foundation (TCHF) worked to create New Freedom Park in 2012, which provided direct evidence that increased access to healthy food and the outdoors results in positive individual and community health outcomes in a high need community. That success led to a $2.8 million grant from TCHF to TPL, allowing the partners to expand this work into communities throughout Denver. Attendees will learn how the project partners worked together to cultivate, design, fund and complete the new park while ensuring that it met the community’s needs, and how they might create similar successes in their own communities by focusing on more than conservation itself. New Freedom Park is a 2-acre property located in East Denver, approximately one block from Denver’s boundary with the City of Aurora. The project was initiated in early 2009 by DPR, TPL and DUG to meet community demand for a public park and expand a community garden on a vacant lot that had already been adopted by the surrounding neighborhood as public open space. The property is also located in a “food desert” with housing for refugee families, low-income families and the homeless all within two blocks of the site, making access to the outdoors and healthy food critical to individual and community health in the surrounding neighborhood. The park includes an artificial turf multi-purpose field, playground equipment for children up to age 12, two half-court basketball hoops/courts, a community gathering space/amphitheater seating, picnic tables, a 50-plot community garden, and Westerly Creek, a small stream that runs through the center of the property, a rarity in an urban setting. The University of Colorado will round out the session and highlight research being conducted in partnership with the American Cancer Society and its implications for allowed uses on public land.
Churches have the potential to be great supporters of community conservation. Yet there is often uncertainty, wariness, or skepticism on both parts. This workshop will offer tools and perspectives for opening doors with churches and faith communities. By re-connecting with our own deepest reasons for caring about the land, learning three “languages of faith” – stewardship, justice and the sacred -- to speak about conservation, and reflecting together on how to apply these, participants will become more comfortable engaging in conversations with faith communities. Presented from a Christian perspective, voices and perspectives from all ways and traditions are welcome.
Session Level: Intermediate Session Location: Colorado Convention Center CLE: Board
This interactive session will introduce participants to a framework of community assets (social, financial, built, intellectual, skills and health, cultural, political, natural/working lands, and justice/equity/access) their conservation work and programming could impact to change people’s lives. Using real life examples, participants will practice assessing, planning and evaluating community conservation projects and programs. Participants will have the opportunity to work through a community conservation case study to assess the project or program and then suggest ways that it could be changed to have greater impact. Time permitting, participants will do the same for their own conservation work and programming.
Session Level: Basic Session Location: Colorado Convention Center
How do we empower youth of all races and socioeconomic backgrounds to feel comfortable with and connected to the outdoors? How do we inspire the next generation to experience the outdoors so they learn to appreciate it? Colorado is piloting an initiative to help address these questions. In 2015, Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) launched the Inspire Initiative which aims to connect youth and their families with the outdoors. GOCO and its partners are establishing places for kids and their families to play and connect with the outdoors, programs that help those places come alive and pathways to outdoor stewardship and leadership roles. Local coalitions across the state are bringing projects to life through an integrated, youth-driven collaborative approach. The innovative, Inspire framework is being looked to as a national model, and each coalition's approach will serve as examples to other rural, urban, suburban or mountain communities across the country. GOCO's five-year, $25million investment in this movement is supporting partners who have deep roots in their communities. This funding provides incentive for partners to work collaboratively in new ways to reach more kids and provide a continuum of diverse outdoor experiences that transition in age and from the backyard to the backcountry. The Grand Junction Inspire coalition is one of 25 statewide Inspire coalitions. The Mesa Land Trust is working in conjunction with the City of Grand Junction and the Riverside Educational Center to connect under resourced youth and families from two low income neighborhoods. Through youth and community leadership, the coalition aims to offer a balance of conservation and recreational opportunities that will inspire all those involved to appreciate the need for nature conservation. Through this case study, we hope to inspire others to envision their own programs for connecting kids to the outdoors.