I recently started working as a contractor with Moose Mountains Regional Greenways (MMRG), a small land trust in New Hampshire. It's been a great opportunity to apply my skills in land use planning and natural resources to some on the ground conservation work. I've also assisted with compiling policies, plans, and procedures that are required for MMRG to become an accredited land trust with the Land Trust Alliance.
As an environmentalist and an urban and regional planner, I am a big proponent of land conservation. Preserving open space shapes development patterns by reducing the potential for sprawl and encouraging denser development in areas that are already developed. Land conservation is a critical aspect of maintaining habitats for wildlife today and in the future. Conservation ensures that we have places to recreate, places that we can observe in a more or less natural state, and places to farm. This contributes to our physical and mental wellbeing and the quality of life a region offers. In addition to these benefits, undeveloped land provides many other ecosystem services - such as stormwater filtration, air purification, and flood mitigation - that are both fundamental and beneficial to individuals and communities.