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C. Community Engagement

  • Develop an inclusive, welcoming organizational culture that respects diversity.
  • Seek to engage people who are representative of the community in which the land trust works and foster opportunities to connect them with the land.
  • Develop an understanding of the land trust’s community, and communicate the land trust’s work, services and impact in a manner that resonates with and engages that community.
  • Build, maintain and enhance relationships with community leaders and other groups interacting with the land trust community.
    • When applicable, engage with local Indigenous communities to discuss how traditional knowledge and practices can inform the land trust’s programs and activities.


The land trust communicates its mission, goals and/or programs to members, donors, landowners, the public, community leaders, conservation organizations and others in its service area and promptly responds to public requests for information about its operations. This practice emphasizes that a land trust must establish public support for its programs. Securing the permanent conservation of protected land will depend on the public’s support of the land trust’s conservation efforts. Land protection is accomplished within a social, political and legal framework that allows for non-profit organizations, public funding, tax incentives, and conservation agreements. Ultimately, the law will govern whether land conservation projects withstand the test of time, and laws can be changed if the public does not support land conservation efforts. Therefore, a land trust should identify the community it serves and then develop mechanisms to build and maintain support for its programs.