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by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

In preparation for the Gillette Forum –which is coming up in less than 2 short weeks– I was reading the ASLA’s blog, The Dirt.  Know what I found out?  America added 5,000 acres of parkland in the last year. That is alot of land! Also, I found out that, that investing in land conservation is good for the economy.  Now that was a surprise!

Cool thing: Will Rogers, President for the Trust for Public Land, is now blogging for The Huffington Post. He says  many people choose to conserve land for its beauty and for sentimental reasons. That makes sense.  But it may be  money that convinces Americans to do more land preservation.  Because, he says:

Turns out, for every dollar New Jersey has invested in conservation, the state has gained ten dollars in economic value. What a deal!…..

At stake is a $400 million bond to continue to keep the pace of preservation efforts that New Jersey voters have approved time and time again. This renewed investment will cost households $10 annually, and enable the protection of over 70,000 acres of land at a time when lower land values will give New Jersey voters a lot of bang for their bucks.

And for a family’s ten dollars each year, they not only invest in new parks and conserved lands; they invest in their own economy. Jobs are created when new parks are being built and landmarks are restored, and conservation leads to ecosystem benefits such as water purification, waste treatment, and flood mitigation. Economic benefits also come from fish and farm economies and outdoor recreation activity linked to open space.

Looks like I’ve got a good question to ask Douglas Reed, FASLA, and Thomas Woltz, ALSA, when the come speak at Lewis Ginter. How can we do this in Virginia? And how can we make those green spaces sustainable, public spaces that connect people back to nature,  creating beauty and beautiful sustainable landscape at the same time as we create jobs and help our economy?


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3 Responses to “Land Conservation is Good for the Economy? Really!”

  1. Susan Moore says:

    I am the chair of a committee starting a botanic garden in Fort Myers, Fl. I welcomed Susan Mitchell to ‘Shell Point yesterday. She indicated that her daughter worked at Lewis Ginter Bot Garden. I would like to make a connection with the garden for guidance and advice and with Susan’s daughter.

  2. […] It looks like Richmond is looking at its trees and its parks more seriously these days.  Ever since our symposium, Green Tonic: Urban Gardening for Health & Wholeness back in August, I’ve been thinking more about the city’s parks and trees and apparently so has the rest of Richmond. On Monday, City Council voted on whether to establish an urban forestry commission for the city — that proposal was adopted! And then I came across Mark Holmberg’s report on city parks on Buttermilk & Molasses earlier this week, it was even more good news for Richmond’s parks!  Holmberg’s report addresses the $3 million dollar investment in the cities parks right now. An investment that is long overdue but also an investment may even pay off in additional surprising ways. […]

  3. Susan,
    I hope my email was helpful to you. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Jonah

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