Oct 16th, 2009

Land Conservation is Good for the Economy? Really!

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?


Jonah Holland is PR & Marketing Coordinator at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, specializing in social media. She's been known to go for a walk, and come back completely inspired to write a blog post on her newest found adventure.

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  • Susan Moore

    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.

  • Pingback: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden » Blog Archive » Richmond Places Greater Importance on Trees & Parks()

  • http://lewisginter.org/blog Jonah Holland

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