Across the nation, counties are assuming an increasingly important role in conservation. This year the Trust for Public Land and the National Association of Counties (NACo) launched their first annual County Leadership in Conservation Awards.
In some ways Nassau County, New York, and Gallatin County, Montana, could not be more different. Nassau County, which borders New York City, is a classic East Coast commuter suburb of more than 1.3 million people—that's 4,600 people per square mile.
Many communities require developers to donate land or pay in-lieu fees for the acquisition of parkland.
In 1997, Peter Harnik, now the director for our Center for City Park Excllence, began collecting and publishing data on the nation's park systems. Initially he focused on park funding and acreage in the nation's largest cities.
Shaded by cottonwood and willow, La Verkin and Ash Creeks converge with the Virgin River in a dramatic black basalt canyon just west of Utah's Zion National Park.
In the early 1980s, Chattanooga, Tennessee, was suffering a deep economic recession. Eighteen thousand manufacturing jobs had been lost due to factory closures and relocations.
This past election day, nine states had land acquisition initiatives on their ballots, some leaning more to conservation than others. All passed but one: my own state of Georgia. Even Alabama's and New Jersey's passed.