Mass. Land Conservation Conference Sets Attendance Record
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN—Last Saturday’s Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference at Worcester Technical High School drew more than 540 environmental advocates, the largest turnout in the Conference’s 24-year history.
Representatives of community land trusts, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies participated in 35 workshops at the all-day gathering, which in past years had been edging toward the 500-attendee mark. Presentation topics ranged from partnering to achieve large-scale land protection and revitalizing urban rivers to supporting green communities and promoting farms and agricultural landscapes.
The keynote speaker at the Conference, titled “Healthy Land – Healthy Communities,” was Dr. Eric Chivian, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and founder of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The event was again convened by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition (MLTC), which has been a chief organizer since both it and the Conference were founded in 1990. Today the MLTC represents more than 130 community-based, regional, and statewide land trusts.
The 2014 Conference drew the support of more than 20 organizations and funders, including Benefactor-level underwriters Mass Audubon and The Trustees of Reservations.
“MLTC’s annual Land Conservation Conference plays such an important role in enabling more land conservation to take place; the unprecedented turnout is no surprise,” said Bob Wilber, Mass Audubon Director of Land Conservation and a former Coalition President. “Year after year, attendees learn new tools and techniques, meet future public and private conservation partners, experience a powerful sense of community, and come away inspired to do more.”
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.