Land Conservation

Land Legacy Program

What happens on the land touches all of us, from the food we eat to the water we drink and the air we breathe. EMSWCD’s Land Legacy Program works to secure the voluntary protection of our most valuable open spaces in order to protect and enhance our special quality of life. The Land Legacy Program helps to realize these outcomes through three initiatives:

Working Farmland Protection Program

aerial of fields at Oxbow Farm

Farmland acreage in Multnomah County has decreased by 63% – 50,000 acres – since 1945. We are working to help ensure high quality farmland is available for current and future farmers by entering into voluntary farmland protection agreements that ensure farmland stays in production, remains affordable and is sustainably managed.
Learn more

Natural Lands

visit the Natural Lands section

EMSWCD works with public, non-profit and private partners to help promote the voluntary protection of important natural areas. We want to ensure these lands continue to sustain our health, our happiness and our economy through their undisturbed forests, streams, wetlands, meadows, ridgetops and other habitat resources. In some cases, portions of these properties may also be made available for limited public access, such as hiking and nature study.
Learn more

Urban Access to Nature

visit the Urban Access to Nature section

EMSWCD works with public, non-profit and private partners to help create access to nature for underserved urban neighborhoods. This includes funds for the acquisition of property, and capital for park improvements (the latter often being funded through EMSWCD’s Grant Program).
Learn more


We also support certain land conservation and 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 meets our guidelines.