Urban Land Conservation

child looking at a stream

“Increasingly the evidence suggests that people benefit so much from contact with nature that land conservation can now be viewed as a public health strategy.” Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods:
Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder

Communities across the nation are taking steps and investing public resources to provide better access to nature for their residents. There is a growing wealth of evidence that providing close-by natural areas can help to increase levels of physical activity, lower obesity rates, reduce crime and lead to greater community involvement and social cohesion. This seems to be especially true for urban residents who lack easy access to these types of environments.

In addition, having even small natural areas throughout the urban landscape can improve air quality, help capture stormwater runoff and combat urban heat island effects. The livability of neighborhoods surrounding these urban gems can be significantly improved.

How We Can Help

Our access to nature and community parks projects are driven by local community and neighborhood needs and initiative. We join together to help our local government and nonprofit partners to fill in some of the access gaps and help more people get out into nature. Those special lands and places will provide lasting benefits to the entire region. Contact Andrew Brown at (503) 935-5354 or Andrew@emswcd.org if you have a potential project you’d like to discuss.


We also support community driven projects through grant funding, technical assistance and other resources. Please view our grants programs section and contact staff to see if a potential project meshes with our guidelines.