Our culture, our community, our sense of place. These are all tied inextricably to the land. The Land Trust Program seeks to protect those incredibly special places that contribute to the culture and sense of place of their communities.
Upstate Forever was awarded Accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2008, proving we meet the highest standards of our profession.
In 2007, Upstate Forever launched a Land Trust Outreach Campaign and we are proud to report the protection of thousands of acres as a direct result of our efforts. The Campaign’s purpose was to identify the landowners of the most important properties in our region and then educate them on the benefits of conservation agreements through mailings, conferences, personal contact, and informal social events, like barbeques and pancake breakfasts. This approach to land conservation has proven itself to be wildly successful since many of the negative misconceptions of conservation agreements can be dispelled once they are addressed by straightforward literature or a conversation with a trusted neighbor.
County Outreach Groups
One of the most successful components of our Outreach Campaign has been the establishment of grassroots county outreach groups, comprised of local leaders, landowners, and concerned citizens committed to promoting land conservation in their home counties. These committees meet regularly to plan informal social and educational opportunities for local landowners of important properties.
The success of our Land Trust Outreach Campaign has been due in large part to the generous support of The Graham Foundation, The Lyndhurst Foundation, The Hollingsworth Foundation, and The Bank of America Foundation.
Upstate Forever’s “Greenprint” program uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to identify the properties in our region which meet our land trust criteria, qualifying them as significant natural or cultural resources. Greenprint was critical to the launch of the Outreach Campaign, since it was through this program that the most significant properties in the Upstate were identified, allowing us to focus our limited staff, time, and resources on protecting these key tracts.
Land Trust Publications and Mailings
Upstate Forever is proud to have written, designed and published both a brochure and a Conservation Easement Overview booklet on our Land Trust Program. These materials are regularly updated and mailed to those individuals identified by our Greenprint program as owning significant properties in our region.