Staff attorney Amy Laura Cahn will present on urban conservation opportunities and tools for land trusts on May 7th in Gettysburg.
This half-day seminar will focus on specific tools for targeting potential conservation projects and facilitating acquisition, including land banks. Ms. Cahn led the charge in advocating for a land bank in Philadelphia, and since a land bank bill was passed in 2013, in its implementation.
This seminar is part of the three-day 13th Annual Land Conservation Conference. More details on Ms. Cahn’s seminar can be found below.
This half-day seminar will focus on specific tools for targeting potential conservation projects and facilitating acquisition. In urban and suburban communities, land trusts can take advantage of these tools and explore opportunities for acquiring land for conservation areas, green stormwater infrastructure, parks, community gardens, urban farms, and other green initiatives.
Land banks can serve as an acquisition tool for land trusts. Land banks empower Pennsylvania communities to return vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties to productive use. Land banks can acquire these problem properties, clear the title, and convey them to new owners who are willing and able to turn them into community assets, including green assets like parks, gardens, and stormwater infrastructure. This portion of the seminar will illustrate how land banks can be used to revitalize Pennsylvania communities and how they can partner with land trusts on conservation projects. Success stories from communities with land banks will be shared by panelists who are true pioneers in advancing land conservation and eliminating blight via land banks.
Community engagement is essential to urban conservation efforts. Since 2011, NeighborSpace of Baltimore County, an urban land trust working in the inner suburbs of Baltimore, has been working with the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program to create a strategic conservation planning tool specifically for urban areas which uses feedback from stakeholders to establish priorities for the conservation plan. In this portion of the seminar, steps in employing the methodology in an urban area will be explored, including (1) developing mission-driven goals, objectives for achieving the goals, and GIS-based criteria for projects necessary to achieve the objectives; (2) the use of preferences to engage stakeholders in creating the conservation plan; and (3) case studies illustrating the methodology’s efficacy. The panelists will further explore how this planning tool could be useful to Pennsylvania’s newly established land banks in identifying priority parcels for conservation and other greening initiatives.