Thank you to our national Gaining Ground partners.

Save land. Strengthen communities. Create a healthier planet.

Land trusts partner with willing land owners to conserve land forever, helping to address some of society's greatest challenges by:

  • Conserving wildlife habitat
  • Providing access to land for all
  • Tackling climate change
  • Protecting land for future generations

Learn more about land trusts

Land trusts have saved more than 60 million acres of land – an increase of 15 million acres since 2010 – and we are working to conserve another 60 million acres by 2030.   

Let’s keep Gaining Ground.

Featured land trust events

Land trusts provide programs and activities to get people outside, volunteer and learn about the land.

The power of land trusts

Learn how land trusts are conserving land to address the critical challenges facing our society.

Providing access to land for all

Bringing conservation to the playground

By Tom Springer Mar 28, 2022

There’s an expression among conservation professionals that “asphalt is always the last crop.” Once an ecosystem gets plowed under and the very topsoil scraped off and trucked away, that’s true enough.

Tackling climate change

Dampening the flames of climate change

By Tom Springer Mar 28, 2022

On Oct. 14, when the first autumn snow dusted the streets and mountains around Moscow, Idaho, Lovina Englund did more than enjoy the frosty ambience. After months of perilous heat, lingering smoke and anxious days when every kiln-dry tree felt prone to catastrophe, she breathed a deep sigh of relief. The fire season was finally over.

Creating healthy communities

Creating trails for all

By Marc Smiley May 26, 2022

In the heart of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust developed several layers of partnership to create several layers of conservation benefit in Highland Glenn near Bozeman, Montana.

Conserving wildlife habitat

A big project for a little bunny

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 31, 2022

The quaint New England town of Stonington, Connecticut, may not be the first setting that comes to mind when thinking about wildlife habitat for an imperiled species. But southeastern Connecticut has one of the few remaining populations of New England cottontail rabbit — a native species with trickier habitat needs than its non-native relative, the Eastern cottontail.

Protecting land for future generations

A tale of two farms: The power of conservation easements

By Dean Fedde Mar 28, 2022

Dean Fedde and his brother Wayne are third-generation Nebraskan farmers who placed an easement on their property in 2010. This article was adapted from a letter Dean wrote in response to published attacks on private land conservation and the 30x30 goal.

Providing access to land for all

Designing access with and for the community

By Chris Soto Mar 28, 2022

When the accredited Solano Land Trust began work to increase accessibility on its properties, it knew the only way to successfully achieve this goal was to invite community members living with disability to join its “design table.”

Tackling climate change

Realizing the potential of carbon farming

By Marina Schauffler Apr 4, 2022

The vast carbon storage potential of natural ecosystems worldwide is just now coming to light, but one local land trust has already spent a decade deliberately increasing the carbon held in its conserved grasslands.

Conserving wildlife habitat

A haven for endangered bats in Indiana

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 28, 2022

Bats are invaluable to North American ecosystems for their role in eating insects and saving plants and trees from damage and disease. But white-nose syndrome, the fast-moving fungal disease, has decimated North American bats in recent years.

Protecting land for future generations

Land trust expands wilderness area

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 28, 2022

In July 2021, The Trust for Public Land and the Bureau of Land Management announced the expansion of the remote Sabinoso Wilderness Area in northeast New Mexico, which represents the largest land donation to a federal wilderness area in U.S. history.

Tackling climate change

A devastated island

By Edith Pepper Goltra Mar 30, 2022

In the fall of 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, claiming many lives and triggering an economic and humanitarian crisis for the island. When the skies cleared, staff from Para la Naturaleza, a unit of the accredited Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, ventured out to survey the damage on its lands. They found widespread community devastation.

Creating healthy communities

We can transform lives

By Jay Loschert May 26, 2022

How often do you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, feeling anxious or cranky? For high school students in Montezuma Land Conservancy's summer Agriculture Immersion Program in Colorado, our daily morning "circle up" time provides a chance to voice those feelings in a safe, supportive environment.

Protecting land for future generations

Dune habitat in historic Black community conserved

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 28, 2022

The accredited North Florida Land Trust recently paid tribute to MaVynee Betsch, an environmental advocate known as “The Beach Lady” for her efforts to protect Amelia Island’s American Beach.

Tackling climate change

Siting solar projects: The right power in the right place

By Marina Schauffler Apr 4, 2022

Terri Lane, executive director at the accredited Northwest Arkansas Land Trust, was aware of the important role land trusts can play in clean energy siting, but until recently this was not an immediate concern in her area.

Conserving wildlife habitat

Safe migration routes for Western wildlife

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 31, 2022

If you’ve seen a grizzly bear in a movie like Legends of the Fall, chances are you’ve seen the work of Vital Ground Foundation, an organization that protects the very land that wild grizzly bears need to survive.

Providing access to land for all

Veterans build universal access trail

By Rob Aldrich Mar 28, 2022

From the outset, the accredited Land Conservancy of West Michigan wanted to create a universal access trail on land — a much-needed solution to the community’s lack of recreational opportunities for people with disabilities.

Creating healthy communities

Healing the mind through gardening

By Chris Soto May 23, 2022

Long-time gardener Gerldine Wilson is passionate about the new initiatives of Grassroots Gardens WNY to provide accessibility and opportunities for healing through gardening. “I am personally invested in making sure we knock down as many barriers to gardening as we can. Therapeutic gardening is a ‘save your life skill,’ which has been very underestimated.”

Conserving wildlife habitat

The eagles have landed

By Kirsten Ferguson Mar 28, 2022

Sometimes the benefits of land protection are less visible to the eye, like a microscopic improvement in stream quality or the invisible yet indispensable sequestration of green-houses gases.

Tackling climate change

Water, water, everywhere

By Edith Pepper Goltra Mar 31, 2022

Beginning in August 2017, three catastrophic hurricanes ripped through the Caribbean and struck various parts of the United States. The first of these was Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston with intense winds and 51 inches of rain in less than a week. Throughout the city and surrounding areas, massive flooding ensued.

Providing access to land for all

Checking out nature at the local library

By Kirsten Ferguson Apr 7, 2022

In Columbia County, New York, budding naturalists can check out Hudson Valley nature with only a library card — and a sense of adventure.

Creating healthy communities

Fresh food for the community

By Kirsten Ferguson May 26, 2022

In many ways, the pandemic laid bare the critical connection between conservation and community access to local food. Americans around the country experienced a disruption in grocery and food supplies. Fortunately, The Land Conservancy of New Jersey was already ahead of the curve in making fresh food available to community members in need.