TPL’s 2007 Parks and Conservation Achievements
San Francisco, CA 12/1/2007: By year-end, The Trust for Public Land (TPL, www.tpl.org), a national land conservation nonprofit, will have protected more than 97,000 acres of land in 31 states and Puerto Rico, with a fair-market value of more than $323 million. In addition, TPL and its affiliate, the Conservation Campaign, helped 15 states, counties, and municipalities nationwide pass measures in 2007 that will generate more than $662 million in new funding for parks and open space protection.
Since it was founded in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 2.3 million acres of land, from the inner city to the wilderness, in 46 states. 2007 conservation highlights include:
Waddle Ranch, Martis Valley, California
Now permanently protected, the spectacular 1,462-acre Waddle Ranch, in California’s Martis Valley is important for its biodiversity and its adjacency to existing public lands, including links to Tahoe National Forest, Martis Creek Lake National Recreation Area, and in time to Mount Rose Wilderness Area. It has been closed to the public for fifty years, but a landmark conservation agreement in May 2006 brought the ranch’s protection within reach. TPL and the Truckee Donner Land Trust worked with a variety of public and private partners to assemble the $23.5 million needed to acquire the property.
P.S. 64, Mt. Eden, The Bronx, New York
TPL worked with students from P.S. 64 and New Settlement Apartments, the community sponsor, to design a new schoolyard playground to better serve the needs of the children and neighbors in the community. The final design, worked on with third, fourth, and fifth grade classes during school as well as an after school group consisting of students, neighbors, and New Settlement staff, includes a running track, sports field, basketball court, swings, play equipment, a water fountain, maps of the United States and the world, trees, and benches. This is the first of 185 schoolyard sites that will be transformed through a partnership of The Trust for Public Land and the City of New York. The partnership is one component of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative. It is a move that will add more than 200 acres of parkland to the city’s inventory and will impact the lives of more than 400,000 children and their families.
Tensas National Forest, Tallulah, Louisiana
Nearly two thousand acres were added to the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge, located 7 miles west of Tallulah, Louisiana. More than 1,420 acres were reforested with 433,000 native trees as part of TPL’s on-going carbon sequestration program. One of the goals of the program is to restore bottomland hardwoods. Another goal is to help mitigate the effects of global warming. When fully-grown, the newly planted trees will sequester 639,000 tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of the carbon footprint of 75,000 homes for one year or of taking 125,000 cars off the road. To date, TPL has conveyed more than 6,770 acres to the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge; reforested 4,830 acres with 1,444,600 trees; donated in excess of $1,106,000 in planting costs and $240,500 in management endowments. TPL has also provided $2,080,000 in land acquisition support and 2,173,500 tons of CO2 have been sequestered.
Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, Washington
In January, Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park opened, showcasing world-class art, innovative park design, habitat restoration, and breath-taking views-all together in a stunning public space open to all. TPL supported conversion of the former petroleum tank-farm, the largest remaining tract of undeveloped waterfront in Seattle, into parks and open space with a restored beach and access to nearby Myrtle Edwards Park.
Pipestone National Monument, Minnesota
In May, TPL added an important property to Pipestone National Monument. The monument was created in 1937 to protect the unique site of quarries, which Native peoples have used for thousands of years as the source of the unique pipestone rock, which was turned into pipes used for personal and ceremonial purposes, and continues to be quarried today. This new, additional acreage may also contain significant archeological resources, given its close proximity to the known site of a prehistoric workshop. It will also aid in the preservation of a globally rare and significant plant community including the Northern Mesic Tallgrass Prairie/Sioux Quartzite Prairie.
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester, Maine
The Sabbathday Lake Shaker village, forest and farm, a National Historic Landmark comprised of 1700 acres and 19 historic structures and landscape features, is the last place where Shakers farm, work, and worship. And thanks to over two hundred years of stewardship, the land encompasses diverse wildlife habitat, walking and cross-country skiing trails, fertile agricultural soils, and productive woodlands. The Shakers will continue to own and manage the property, farming the land, pasturing animals, and leasing orchards and fields to neighboring farmers and apple growers.
“The Trust for Public Land proudly helps communities protect the parks, playgrounds, open space, and working lands we love, giving us all healthy places to play,” said Will Rogers, TPL president.
In addition to Conservation Transaction services, TPL also supports landowners, communities, and local governments with a wide-range of conservation expertise, including:
Conservation Vision: TPL offers an award-winning set of tools that can make park creation and land conservation initiatives easier. TPL has completed Conservation Vision plans for more than fifty communities across the country, including three completed in 2007:
- Deerfield, Mass.: A steering committee of the Board of Selectmen worked with TPL and residents to define a vision for land conservation and a path to implement the vision.
- Quinalt Indian Nation, Wash.: The Quinalt Nation includes over 200,000 acres of land, including coastal areas, interior forests, and growing residential communities. In partnership with TPL, QIN sought to develop a conservation program that economically preserves the Quinault Nation culture and traditions and key natural lands and waters.
- Wenatchee, Wash.: The Wenatchee Watershed Vision makes strategic recommendations about how to maintain a healthy, balanced community that accommodates growth, while protecting agricultural and natural lands – the places, character, and quality of life that make it special.
Conservation Finance: In addition to the billions of dollars in conservation finding created at the ballot box in 2007, TPL’s Finance professionals have:
- celebrated the 2007 County Land Conservation Award winners – Sonoma County, Cal., Pitkin County, Col., and Lake County, Ill.
- enhanced the Conservation Almanac of Federal and State Lands.
Center for City Park Excellence: This TPL research and support center assists cities with a comprehensive city park database and technical assistance through city-specific analysis. In 2007 the Center released new data on city park systems, expanding data to sixty cities nationwide.
The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has conserved more than 2.3 million acres of land nationwide. TPL depends on the support of individuals, corporations, and foundations.