Montgomery County Lands Trust works to preserve and connect the
natural areas, farmland, and neighborhood green spaces which contribute
to our quality of life, to a clean and abundant water supply and
to the health of our region’s economy.
Montgomery County Lands Trust strives to provide a variety of land
preservation options in Montgomery County and:
- Pursues voluntary land preservation through donations of Conservation
- Addresses personal and municipal land conservation questions
- Maximizes the effectiveness of the Montgomery County Open
- Educates, advises, and facilitates open space preservation
- Develops and presents educational workshops on land preservation
and managed growth
Montgomery County Lands Trust was established in 1993 at the same
time that the county commissioners adopted the first Montgomery
County Open Space Program. The group of county leaders who spearheaded
the first $100 Million Open Space Preservation program felt strongly
that a private, non-profit organization was needed to complement
the public effort to address the increasing loss of green space
and natural resource areas throughout Montgomery County. The Land
Trust was formed to not only advance the county program, but to
address private aspects of land preservation and to provide leadership
in structuring public/private partnerships requiring innovative
Since that time, the efforts of Montgomery County Lands Trust have
been directed at preserving open space, fostering smart growth and
providing education to county citizens. We maintain a unique position
as advisor and counselor to community leaders and elected officials
at the local, county and state level.
During 2003, Montgomery County Lands Trust played a pivotal role
in the passage of the $150 Million Montgomery County Green Fields/Green
Towns Open Space Referendum. Prior to the ballot campaign, the
Lands Trust set the stage for the referendum by publishing a White
Paper on the continuation of the county open space program; we then
supported that policy paper by publicizing a strongly favorable
Voter Attitude Survey.
Acting both as a clearing house for land preservation questions
and as a resource for public and private land conservation, our
organization continues to focus on preservation and education. The
Lands Trust accepts the donation of and monitors conservation easements
through its conservation easement program
that informs landowners about the benefits of preserving their land.
In our first decade, we acquired easements on over 1,900 acres.
Recently, the organization has received funding for collaborative
projects to purchase easements and to buy fee interest on strategic
landscapes. Montgomery County Lands Trust develops workshops and
resource materials for community and individual use and has conducted
over 30 public workshops.
Montgomery County Lands Trust enthusiastically partners with other
preservation groups to achieve successful outcomes to challenging
projects. In 1997, we formed Partners for
Land Preservation, a group that meets three times a year to
be more effective on a regional basis and to see land preserved
and resources guarded throughout Montgomery County.
On July 1, 2012, Montgomery County Lands Trust became an affiliate of Natural Lands Trust, an accredited, regional land trust serving eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Since its founding in 1953, Natural Lands Trust has protected more than 100,000 acres of land, including 41 nature preserves that it owns and manages in 13 counties. In Montgomery County, Natural Lands Trust owns 10 nature preserves and holds conservation restrictions on 49 additional properties. Now bolstered by the expertise and organizational capacity of the regionís largest conservation organization, Montgomery County Lands Trust continues to pursue its mission to preserve open space in Montgomery County and to enhance the communities that make the county a unique and scenic place in which to live.
To learn more about land trusts and what they do, you can visit
the websites of the Pennsylvania
Land Trust Association and the Land