New Book Features Stories of Place, Community

SAN FRANCISO, CA, 10/14/2005 – The Trust for Public Land today released a new compilation of inspiring land conservation stories from across America.

This new book, Groundswell: Stories of Saving Places, Finding Community, celebrates the role of land conservation in preserving community character and connecting people to the land and to each other. Told through pictures, interviews, and editorial insight, Groundswell engages readers in compelling journeys of collaboration in the field of land conservation, and conservation’s capacity for enhancing community health, economies, and connections.

Author Alix Hopkins reveals the shared passion and energy people with diverse perspectives can bring to protecting landscapes that define their communities. Featuring six complementary stories from around the country, Groundswell also explores collaborative environmental art, and includes question-and-answer and resource sections.

Stories range in size, complexity, and geography-from a community-supported agriculture project in Wisconsin to a Bronx River restoration to a countywide coastal economic development initiative in rural North Carolina. Other projects profiled include Portland Trails in Maine, Canyon Lake Creek Community Forest in Washington State, and the Rocky Mountain Front Advisory Committee, based in Montana.

Groundswell sprang from Hopkins’ transforming experience as founding executive director of Portland Trails, a vibrant urban conservation organization in Maine’s largest city. “I found my voice while working at Portland Trails,” she said. “So I wanted to share what I learned with others who hope to make a difference in their own communities, including those who need some help getting started and those who want to gain a fresh perspective on their on-going work.”

Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, author of Groundswell’s foreword, comments that Hopkins “possessed the ability to organize and guide an abundance of talented local people to do what they did best. Here was grassroots participation in its most effective form.”

Hopkins shares insights into how people from very different cultures can discover the leadership and resources they need to guide community growth. Groundswell includes stories of people overcoming cultural, economic, and environmental challenges, and more than 150 color photos, maps, posters, and other illustrations.

Groundswell offers inspiration and plain-spoken advice for everyone who cares about making a contribution to his or her community and reveals the alchemy of collaborative land conservation: how dedicated people who care about the future can come together to make the worst of predicaments turn to gold.

The book is co-sponsored by the National Park Service Rivers & Trails Program, The Conservation Fund, and The Nature Conservancy, all of which employ collaborative conservation as part of their missions.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization which 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 2 million acres in 46 states. TPL depends on the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations. Visit TPL on the Web at

To order copies of Groundswell visit or contact Chelsea Green Publishing at (802) 295-6300.