Vibrant Communities

Kayaking in Houston, TX

Kayaking in Houston, Texas. Photo by JP in Texas/Flickr

A vibrant community has a healthy environment and a healthy economy. That’s why we work toward both goals, by helping communities strategically plan development, train leaders in conservation, and sustainably use natural resources. Here are some of our efforts: 

An Emerald Necklace For Los Angeles Gibson Mariposa Park. Photo by Cameron McIntyre.

As one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, the Los Angeles region should be leading the country in park and recreation opportunities, but, sadly, it is not. In fact, in Los Angeles County, only 36 percent of children live within… Read More

Stones River, Nashville Stones River Farm

When we helped complete Nashville’s first Open Space Plan in 2011, we identified the scenic and historic 600-acre Stones River Farm property in Tennessee as a top conservation priority. Recently, Nashville’s Metro Parks System asked us to act on that priority,… Read More

Green Infrastructure Plans For Houston-Galveston Aerial of Galveston Bay, Texas

Greater Houston is America’s sixth-largest metroplex—and growing. In less than 30 years, the Houston-Galveston area is expected to gain 3.5 million people, bringing the area population to nearly 10 million. Now is the time for officials, planners, builders and other… Read More

Open Space Plan For Nashville Nashville skyline

Like many American cities, fast-growing Nashville needs green strategy. Obesity-related conditions cost area residents an estimated $255 million annually. There are too few places for people to easily access the outdoors, with only about 3% of Davidson County in metro… Read More

Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative

We’re helping to implement the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Initiative, a far-reaching project designed to protect and link city parks, natural areas and working farms throughout the city, while curbing the growth and effects of sprawl surrounding the city. For a… Read More

Conservation In The Chesapeake Bay Sandy Point Light

From New York to Virginia, more than 40 major rivers link land and people to the Chesapeake Bay. How the land in the watershed is treated and cared for profoundly affects the bay’s overall health. With a land-to-water ratio higher… Read More

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Arabia Mountain

Located in DeKalb County, just 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is widely valued for its granite outcrops, abundant wildflowers and quiet streams. A “National Heritage Area” is a place designated by Congress where natural, cultural,… Read More

Hoke Community Forest Hoke Community Forest

Hoke Community Forest, the first community forest in the Southeastern United States, serves as an innovative model for communities struggling to balance conservation and economic goals. The 532-acre property, located north of the county seat Raeford and about a mile… Read More

Balancing Nature And Commerce In Unicoi County View from Roy's Rock, Rocky Fork Tennessee

Known as “The Valley Beautiful,” this rural Appalachian community is prime for development, but it is also home to great natural beauty—making decisions about land use difficult. While helping to conserve one popular destination, Rocky Fork, our Conservation Leadership Network® (CLN) provided training… Read More

Texas Pineywoods Experience pineywoods

The Conservation Fund has deep roots in east Texas, where we’ve worked to protect roughly 33,000 acres of Big Thicket National Preserve, celebrate and preserve the Neches River, and plan for growth in and around Lufkin. To blend the best… Read More

Saving San Diego’s Open Space San Diego hills and sage brush

San Diego is known for its miles of coastline and beautiful beaches. But there is more to this coastal ecosystem than just sand and surf: other landscapes, such as coastal sage brush and forest habitat, also are critical to maintaining the… Read More

Historic Waterfront, Southampton New Suffolk Waterfront

Over the past 25 years, the community of New Suffolk in Southampton, New York, has rallied to protect the coastal hamlet’s historic waterfront from encroaching residential and commercial development.  Today, the property that has been described as the village’s “living… Read More

Chicago Wilderness Vision City of Chicago

Our conservation efforts in and around Chicago, from Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to wetlands restoration, keeps growing. Chicago Wilderness, regional alliance represents more than 300 organizations, recently asked us to help update and refine its 2004 green infrastructure plan. With an ambitious vision to create… Read More

Gateway Community Initiative In Michigan: Waterloo Recreation Area main street in Chelsea, Michigan

Waterloo Recreation Area in Michigan is a little-known treasure. About a one-hour drive from Ann Arbor, this 20,000-acre park is the largest in the lower peninsula and shares a 36-mile hiking trail with the Pinckney State Recreation Area. Yet there wasn’t… Read More

Balancing Nature And Commerce In The New River Gorge Region New River Gorge

In October 2010, the Fund’s Conservation Leadership Network brought together local business leaders, elected officials and public land managers for a three-day workshop to discuss changes that are coming to West Virginia’s New River Gorge region.  As the new host… Read More

City of Brentwood Pond at Ravenswood property in Brentwood, Tennessee

Access to the outdoors is a health and quality of life issue for all Americans, but especially those living in or near urban areas.  Our work with the city of Brentwood in Tennessee is a great example of how our… Read More

Fish Creek Open Space Area, City of Maplewood Fish Creek Greenway/Photo courtesy City of Maplewood

Keeping with the Fund’s goal to save favorite outdoor places, we helped the City of Maplewood acquire 70 acres around the Fish Creek Open Space Area, increasing it by 50 percent. The Fish Creek Natural Area Greenway stretches from the… Read More

Helping The YMCA Of Duluth Save Camp Miller Girl campers at YMCA Duluth

For more than a century, the YMCA of Duluth has offered summer resident camps and outdoor, environmental education opportunities for more than 2,000 youth at Camp Miller. In 2011, we helped the Y permanently protect nearly 300 acres at Camp Miller,… Read More