LAND FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN
“THE ULTIMATE TEST OF MAN’S CONSCIENCE MAY BE HIS WILLINGNESS TO SACRIFICE SOMETHING TODAY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS WHOSE WORDS OF THANKS WILL NOT BE HEARD.”
FOUNDER OF EARTH DAY
SAVING LAND TODAY
FOR THE GENERATIONS OF TOMORROW
The lush forests, flowing rivers, rolling hills and scenic vistas of Northwest Arkansas provide life-sustaining benefits we cannot live without. Our natural lands give us clean water, fresh air, healthy wildlife habitat, access to locally grown foods, and places to escape the stress of daily life and connect with nature.
No longer a “well known secret,” the word is out about just how desirable our region is. As the area’s population grows from 600,000 today to one million within the next decade, forests are turning into neighborhoods, farmland into shopping centers, and fencerows into highways. In response to this rapid population growth, our region is on track to lose more than 9 acres of natural lands every day over the next 30 years. Today more than ever, it is critical that we save the places that sustain our high quality of life in Northwest Arkansas, before they are gone forever.
Land Use Change in Northwest Arkansas: 2011 - 2050
With the mission of preserving quality of life in Northwest Arkansas through the permanent protection of land, the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust has placed over 3,000 acres of land in our region into permanent conservation since 2003.
Natural treasures have been forever protected for ours and future generations. Places like the wildlife and recreationally-rich Kessler Mountain in south Fayetteville, the Historic Johnson Farm, the namesake spring of Elm Springs, and vast watersheds winding throughout the Ozarks. The Land Trust is a strategic leader for environmental conservation and stands poised to increase the pace of land protection in Northwest Arkansas over the next several years.
As our region continues to prosper and grow, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to save the natural assets that make Northwest Arkansas such a great place to live, work and play. And we need your help. We invite you to join an ambitious effort to preserve what you love about Northwest Arkansas during our Land for Life campaign.
By 2021, we’ve committed to protect an additional 5,000 acres of critical lands throughout Northwest Arkansas and raise $2.8 million to acquire and steward the landscapes which provide the greatest public benefit to our region;
life-sustaining benefits that impact every single neighbor, visitor, and child in our community now, and those to come.
CAMPAIGN INVESTMENTS - $2,800,000
Total raised (as of 7.23.20) - $2,511,035
Remaining campaign goal = $288,965
LAND ACQUISITION FUND
The Land Trust works with willing landowners to find a conservation path that works best for them. This includes land donations, conservation easements and other arrangements. In some cases, however, the only way to save key properties is to buy them. Through this campaign, the Land Trust will establish a land acquisition fund to quickly act on the purchase of vulnerable lands.
We are committed to excellence in everything we do. From providing memorable opportunities for our community to connect with nature; to habitat protection and restoration and the removal of invasive species; to building relationships and working with partners to enhance and protect natural resources; to monitoring dozens of easements annually to protect the conservation values of the land; and to attract and retain the most talented staff possible. We believe there has never been a more critical time to protect our region. It takes a reliable stream of annual resources to maintain excellence and serve our thirteen-county service region.
With each land project approved by our Board, our organization assumes the obligation to steward those properties forever. Annual stewardship activities include monitoring and enforcing conservation easements, managing our preserves, installing public access, maintaining trails, restoring wildlife habitat and enhancing water resources. As we protect more land each year, our need for the long-term land stewardship reserves necessary to fulfill our promise increases.
OPEN SIX PRESERVES
TO PUBLIC ACCESS
HOST 24 VOLUNTEER STEWARDSHIP WORK DAYS
CONTRIBUTE 1,600 HOURS TO LAND STEWARDSHIP
ESTABLISH STEWARDSHIP INTERN PROGRAM
HOW WILL LAND BE PROTECTED?
First, we rely heavily on conservation-minded landowners, just as we have for the past 15 years. The vast majority of high-value conservation land is privately held.
Land owned by the Land Trust is permanently protected as preserves. The Land Trust also sometimes facilitates the purchase of properties to be owned by a city and permanently protected by a conservation easement and stewardship collaboration with the Land Trust.
WHERE WILL PROTECTED LANDS BE?
The majority of land protected through this campaign will be in Benton and Washington counties, the two most rapidly urbanizing counties in Northwest Arkansas. The Land Trust will continue to work with landowners in all counties throughout our service region.
The Land Trust focuses on landscape-scale conservation, an approach that maximizes public benefit by protecting whole landscapes. Our priority landscapes protect drinking water, wildlife habitat, local food and farms, outdoor recreation and scenic resources.
Our goals are also strategically aligned with the Northwest Arkansas Open Space Plan. The Plan identifies areas throughout Benton and Washington counties that are most important for conservation. The Land Trust is the leading partner in implementing the Plan which serves as a valuable tool for smart growth in our region. Read more about the Northwest Arkansas Open Space plan here.
LETTER FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TERRI LANE
As Northwest Arkansas continues to develop into one of the country’s most desirable places to live, work and raise a family, saving land is critical to preserving the way of life we all know and love – for us, and for future generations.
Yet as our region continues to grow, we are on pace to lose approximately nine acres per day to urban development. The built environment provides us with many important amenities, but just as we invest in places to be developed, we must also invest in places not to be developed. And we must act now to protect the forests, streams, hills and farmland that define our communities.
Through the Land for Life campaign, we aim to do just that. We’ve set an ambitious goal to forever protect an additional 5,000 acres of critical natural lands in Northwest Arkansas. We will open six
preserves to public access, providing unique opportunities for families to connect with nearby nature. And we will continue stewarding these important landscapes so that people and wildlife will benefit for generations to come.
Since 2003, people like you have helped make land conservation a priority in our region by supporting the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust. We are more committed than ever to protecting our future - but we can’t do it alone.
We need your help to meet our goal of raising $2.8 million dollars for this important campaign. This funding will establish a land acquisition fund so that we can more readily act on the purchase of vulnerable natural areas and provide the long-term funding necessary to forever protect and steward the special places that matter most to you.
If you believe that clean water, wildlife habitat, places to connect with nature, family farms and local foods are important for us and our children, then you know, land truly is essential to life! I hope you will join us.
Yours in Conservation,
Terri L. Lane