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How do you make conservation a household word? How do you engage community leaders, local businesses, tourism bureaus, and members of the public in a conversation about conservation? How do you build common ground, and take dynamic, positive steps to conserve land and promote conservation on a regional scale? 

Led by the Maryland Environmental Trust, 28 conservation-minded people in Frederick and Washington Counties met in Jefferson, Maryland, in late April 2018 to ask these questions — and discu

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Ready to connect the dots? Help us identify and build the connections between the woods, farms, wildlands, and waterways that link New England’s rural to urban landscapes. The annual RCP Network Gathering brings together conservation professionals, land use managers, academics, and more in a workshop-based event to build the capacity of RCPs and land trusts to protect land. Our “whole landscape” approach to this year’s event will rely on story exchange and cross-sector networking hand in hand wi
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The Southern New England Heritage Forest is an anomaly, a 1.49 million-acre forest corridor flanked by the Hartford, Worcester, and Providence metro areas and one of the last remaining unfragmented sections in the coastal sprawl from Boston to Washington, DC. But this remarkable landscape, still 76% forest and farmland, is increasingly feeling the pinch of encroaching development.
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Lately I have been telling anyone who would listen that the W&W vision has become a full-on movement. W&W is a freight train. We may have slowed a bit to pick up some cargo. But in the spirit of Woody Guthrie, this train is bound for glory, this train. And glory is a future in which our great, great grandchildren inherit our wildlands and woodlands, farmlands and communities.
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When Anica Miller-Rushing took over as coordinator of the Down East Research and Education Network (DEREN) nearly three years ago, the partnership was still in the early stages of carving out its role in Downeast, Maine. Today, as Miller-Rushing is preparing to leave her position to begin a PhD program at the University of Maine, she reflects on how the network has evolved over time and come into its own.
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This summer, the Rhode Island Woodland Partnership (RIWP)’s 2017-21 Strategic Plan was recognized with a 2017 Rhode Island Smart Growth Award for “Outstanding Smart Growth Policy/Plan.” This acknowledgement came as a surprise but affirms that forest conservation and stewardship fit into big-picture planning efforts that include cities and their surroundings.  It was one of several annual awards presented by Grow Smart Rhode Island, a nonprofit that provides statewide leadership for diverse publi

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Do these prognostications apply to your vision of the next decade of RCP innovation?

Time for Big Change — 10 provocations for the next 10 years of social innovation

I liked Sector Focus to Place Focus

I seems like more RCP's are joining the "community conservation" bandwagon.

They are engaging a broader set of allies with interests that dovetail with land conservation.

Complex systems geek, Indy Johar says place trumps sector:

2116133?profile=RESIZE_320x320Much of our current allocation of investment and intervention has to

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In July the Maine Mountain Collaborative announced the launch of a new conservation fund for land protection in the Maine mountain region.  The $100,000 “Maine Appalachian Mountain Corridor Conservation Fund” provides financial assistance for land conservation projects in the 5 million-acre Maine Appalachian Mountain Corridor. The fund supports transaction costs associated with donated (50% or more of value) conservation lands or easements. The fund is one of several made possible throughout the

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It seems you can't swing a dead cat without running into a multi-sectoral partnership these days.  

The good news is that we are learning more about what makes them tick and how to get them up to speed faster.

This article, How Multi-Sector Health Partnerships Evolve, for example, looks at the phases of development in partnerships that seems applicable to what I've seen among RCP's.  

The health partnerships are regional too!  The other thing that caught my eye was the organizational diversit

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In my previous blog post here, I talked about how people can become more interested and involved in conservation if they hear from peers whom they trust. Since writing that post in early October, the North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership has held many events with local communities.

Landowners, members of town Conservation or Open Space Committees, and school children have attended these events. The collaboration from multiple members of the Partnership has allowed the small scale efforts

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2017 Cox Trust RCP Grant Awards

2116099?profile=RESIZE_480x480The Jessie B. Cox Trust Regional Conservation Partnership Grant Initiative made its third and final round of grants to help strengthen regional conservation partnerships in New England.

The grants program supported capacity-building projects that increase collaborative conservation campaigns among regional organizations.  It also supports transaction costs associated with the donation of conservation easements and fee simple lands of ecological significance.

The funding program was developed in

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Dear RCP Network members,

     Applications are now being accepted for the second round of the Berkshire Wildlife Linkage (aka the Staying Connected Initiative's Green Mts. to Hudson Highlands Linkage) Catalyst Fund. Thanks to a generous grant from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, this fund covers due diligence costs for donations or steep bargain sales of land that is important core or corridor habitat within the Berkshire Wildlife Linkage. Unfortunately, partners in NY are not eligible to ap

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New RCP Exchange (Grant) Program

The RCP Network Steering Committee is piloting the 2017-2018 RCP Exchange Program with funding from Highstead.

Up to four grants of $2500 are available to enable leaders from "Giving" RCPs to help "Receiving" RCPs learn a new skill or implement a strategy or set of tools, for example. 

First, RCPs seeking assistance are invited to fill out this online "Training Statement of Interest" by June 1, 2017.

Over the summer, we'll share without attribution the subjects, tools, or needs of these RCPs

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Everyone knows that good coordination is key to collaboration, but I always get itchy when coalitions, networks, alliances, or partnerships go the nonprofit 501(c)3 route to structure the coordination functions.

Yes, I get all of the advantages and pressures, but too often, I have seen how the collaborative juice gets sucked out of the atmosphere when it is contained in a nonprofit organization.  

Sometimes these organizations can look and act like a network, but their care and feeding is vastly d

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I am a sucker for those movies where all the superheroes join forces to fight evil and save the world from destruction.

Maybe this explains why I love learning about regional and global science cooperatives, collaboratives, and partnerships.

Its sort of the same thing only researchers don't wear spandex outfits, and their superpowers are linked data sets.

I just learned about another one that focuses on the impact of nutrients on grasslands called NutNet.  100 sites!

This recent post from the Colleg

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Sustainable Urban Forest Guide

Hello RCP Network peeps -

Thought I'd share with you all a major urban forestry (aka community forestry) planning handbook that I recently completed after several years in the making while at the USFS Philadelphia Field Station. Feel free to share far and wide -- and certainly utilize the guide however you can in your community. Here's the blurb we're using for posting purposes:

The Sustainable Urban Forest: A Step-by-Step Approach is now available online at Developed as part o

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Highstead Intern Mary Buchanan created this amazing interactive story map for all of the towns in the Fairfield County Connecticut RCP.

It is an AMAZING tool for municipalities, Land Trusts, and Conservation Commissions to pinpoint the lands of highest conservation value.

Check this out!  It is fun and easy to use......

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2116313?profile=RESIZE_320x320This month, the Rhode Island Woodland Partnership (RIWP) finished a yearlong process of crafting its first strategic plan. This project was made possible by a $10k Strategy Grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, the state’s community foundation. The partnership was also fortunate to have the RI Resource Conservation and Development Area Council, one of its member 501(c)(3) organizations, serving as its fiscal sponsor.

Despite being the smallest and second most urbanized state in the country, th

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