We’ve Issued 400 Loans to Advance Local Conservation Goals Across the U.S.
By the Numbers
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What Conservation Loans Can Help Achieve
Greenspace and Equity
About half of our loans have expanded recreational outcomes for the public, with a particular focus on advancing access to parks, trails, and open space in urban areas. One example of this was our partnership with Amigos de los Rios in Los Angeles.
Several years ago, we began providing financing to the nonprofit as they worked to develop a 17-mile loop of parks and greenways connecting 10 cities and nearly 500,000 residents along the Río Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers. Since then, Amigos de los Rios and its partners have made strides towards this vision, known as the Emerald Necklace Vision Plan, to protect water resources while expanding parks and green infrastructure, particularly in underserved LA County communities that previously had little access to nature. They’ve converted abandoned lots, empty street medians and other neglected spots into pockets of green, making an “Emerald Necklace” for their community. We helped bring that vision to life with bridge financing needed for Amigos de los Rios to have sustained income while waiting for public reimbursement payments for its work.
Mariposa Butterfly Park along the Emerald Necklace Forest and Ocean Vision Plan. Photos by Whitney Flanagan.
Food and Farmland
Roughly one-third of our conservation loans have supported and strengthened food systems and small private farms. This ranges from helping local nonprofits acquire farmland to feed their communities, to supporting groups that provide veterans with agricultural therapy resources. But all these projects have one common denominator—they’re focused on LOCAL.
For example, one of our long-time partners in Massachusetts, the Kestrel Land Trust, knew that investing in local farms was the best way to help their community during the massive food shortages experienced during the COVID pandemic. In 2020, they reached out to us to help finance the protection of a local dairy farm, and used it to create a new “Food Bank Farm” with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The 142-acre farm contracts with local farmers who grow organic vegetables for households at risk of hunger and to sell to schools in high-poverty school districts.
Photo courtesy of Kestrel Land Trust.
Our loans have helped protect nearly 160,000 acres of land across the U.S. That’s bigger than Zion National Park. And while much of this land is utilized by people for food and recreational benefits like those above, it can also be used to secure critical wildlife habitat, specifically protecting migration corridors and species restoration efforts.
Our partner, the Southern Plains Land Trust, has used our support and financing to conserve critical habitat in Colorado. Our loans have helped finance the construction of a bison preserve, where the land trust is maintaining vast prairie grasslands for bison to roam. It also plans to begin reintroducing the highly endangered black footed ferret to the habitat. A truly exceptional example of what one of 400 loans can do for conservation!
Pictured left: Bison preserve. Photo courtesy of Lauren McCain for Southern Plains Land Trust. Pictured right: Black footed ferret. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Read More Examples of Our Loans in Action: