Broadening the base of support for land conservation – across ages, ethnic groups and income – is the key to the future of open space in the US.1 Humans are a key element of preserving such spaces: “Laws don’t protect land, people do.”2 As more children stay inside, communities of color grow, and income levels stratify, the traditional U.S. land conservation community needs to find and build from its shared interests across a more diverse range of partners.
The conservation community’s most valuable asset is access to open space – either owned or to be acquired in the future. How does land use based on the heritage and background of different cultures compare with that of the traditional land trust community? What are the opportunities to manage conserved sites in ways that attract a wider range of users? What are the risks of doing so?