How a Land Trust Works

Landowners work with a Land Trust when they want to permanently protect wetlands, floodplains, farmlands, wildlife corridors, working forests, and scenic areas from inappropriate development.

What is a Land Trust and How Does It Work?

A Land Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization that helps the community permanently protect land for habitat, community health, climate resilience, and economic benefits, such as to keep working lands open and productive. Land Trusts do this in several ways including owning land, holding voluntary land conservation agreements (conservation easements) with private landowners, facilitating projects for other partners, and working with the community to collaborate on tackling emerging issues in land use like maintaining affordable, protected working lands.

Land Trusts work to protect places with forests and wetlands that support clean air and water, rich farmland soils, critical wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and working forestland. When we protect a place, we make a forever commitment to care for it and assume a legal obligation to uphold any conservation restrictions on it.

Jefferson Land Trust is both community supported and community driven. All of our work, even protecting private land with willing landowners, is done for the benefit of our community: to enhance community health; to build economic strength and climate resilience; and to support art, education, and culture. Our conservation priorities are established with input from diverse perspectives and sources: local citizens, community organizations, and government partners.

Our organization is stronger and more relevant when we include the perspectives of people from all walks of life, including those that have been historically excluded from the land conservation movement.

We appreciate the ongoing involvement and support of our community. This work would not be possible without the volunteer efforts and financial commitment of people like you.

To find out how you can become involved, visit our Give & Join and Volunteer pages.

To see if your land might qualify for protection under a conservation easement, visit Save Your Land.

Boulton Farms

Photo by Seldon McKee