The Freshwater Land Trust staff recently attended Rally 2014, the national Land Trust Alliance conference. Rally is held annually, and land trusts from across the country look forward to coming together to network and learn from one another.
Ryan Parker, Rebekah Parker, & Memorie English
This year, nearly 1,800 conservationists attended the national conference in Providence, Rhode Island. With more than 100 workshops and 17 diverse, in-depth seminars to choose from, it was a wonderful opportunity to learn about enhancing our best practices and get innovative ideas for new projects.
State House, Providence, Rhode Island
Our own Rebekah Parker and Ryan Parker both were chosen to lead workshops at Rally. Rebekah was proud to present about the success of our Turkey Creek dam removal project, explaining how we established unique partnerships with corporations and foundations to remove the structure and open up an additional half mile of habitat for the endangered Vermilion Darter. Ryan Parker was joined by Dr. Mark Wilson, CEO of the Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH), to present about the benefits of health and conservation groups working together to improve public health. Ryan and Dr. Wilson shared their story of how the Freshwater Land Trust and the health department have worked together on the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System to provide meaningful connections to parks and greenspace throughout Jefferson County in an effort to encourage exercise and improve health conditions in our community.
Rebekah Parker’s presentation, “Partnerships can be Dam Fun”
Wendy Jackson and Dr. Mark Wilson
Michelle O’Neal, Freshwater Land Trust Board Chair, also attended Rally and was able to represent Westervelt Ecological Services at a booth throughout the conference.
Bryding Adams, Michelle O’Neal, Wendy Jackson & Rebekah Parker
Freshwater Land Trust staff members attended workshops and seminars on a variety of topics, including land acquisitions, fundraising and outreach, marketing and communications, and urban greenspace development. We also were able to network with other land trust representatives from the Southeastern region and the Land Trust Alliance Ambassadors group.
However, the highlight of Rally was celebrating our accreditation renewal. Executive Director Wendy Jackson proudly accepted our accreditation certificate at the opening plenary session. We are proud to share this great accomplishment and mark of distinction with 280 land trusts from across the country, indicating to the public that we meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent.
Wendy Jackson at Accreditation Ceremony
Thank you to the Land Trust Alliance for hosting such an enriching event! It was a pleasure to come together with the nation’s best leaders in conservation to share our passion for preserving the places that matter.