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 protects more than 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people's vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women.
Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 135,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at www.massaudubon.org.