Fourth Annual County Land Conservation Awards Announced

WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/1/2008: The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and the National Association of Counties (NACo) today announced five winning programs for the fourth annual County Leadership in Conservation Awards, which recognizes leadership, innovation, and excellence on local land conservation and park creation initiatives by county leaders across America.

The winners:
Landscapes 21st Century Preservation Program, Chester County, Pennsylvania
Harris County Flood Control District, Harris County, Texas
Parks and Conservation Lands, Martin County, Florida
South Park Heritage Area, Park County Land & Water Trust Fund, Park County, Colorado
Open Space Acquisition Policy Plan, Suffolk County, New York

More information on 2008 Award Winners

The winning county programs were honored today at the annual NACo Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. In addition to the national recognition, each county receives a travel scholarship to promote countywide land conservation programs as effective solutions to thoughtful regional growth issues.

NACo President Eric Coleman, commissioner, Oakland County, Mich., and TPL Senior Vice President Ernest Cook noted that the 2008 County Leadership Awards come at a time when counties are increasingly leading innovators in the protection of open space as a strategy for managing growth.

Since 1996, 151 counties have prioritized land conservation with new or reconsidered conservation programs. In that time these counties have passed 260 ballot measures, generating $14.3 billion for open space, parks, watersheds, recreational lands, and wildlife preserves. Over 77 percent of all county conservation ballot measures in the last decade have won voter approval.

“We can react to pressures like development, or be thoughtful in our responses,” said Will Rogers, TPL President. “Local conservation programs can help our communities shape thoughtful growth. This year’s winners are being recognized for their commitment to creating healthy, livable places.”

Said Coleman, “I applaud these counties for their leadership and commitment to critical land conservation programs. NACo is proud to join our friends at The Trust for Public Land to showcase the best practices in land conservation initiatives across America.”

Three or more awards will be presented each year to officials (elected or appointed) from NACo-member counties. Awards are made in three population categories. The awards were presented in partnership with the National Association of County Planners and the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials.

“As America grows, counties are leading the way with setting aside the places that matter most,” said Will Rogers. “The Trust for Public Land’s partnership with counties-and with the National Association of Counties in particular-shows how creating parks and conserving open space are at the heart of making communities great places to live, work, and play.”

Additional information and nomination forms can be accessed on the Web at either or or by calling (617) 367-6200 ext. 303.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than two million acres in 46 states. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations and corporations. Visit TPL on the Web at

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,066 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit