What is a Land Trust?!

Land Trust:

As defined by Wikipedia:
a private, nonprofit organization that, as all or part of its mission, actively works to conserve land by undertaking or assisting in land or conservation easement acquisition, or by its stewardship of such land or easements; or an agreement whereby one party (the trustee) agrees to hold ownership of a piece of real property for the benefit of another party (the beneficiary).

As defined by Webster’s Dictionary of Law:

A trust created to effectuate a real estate ownership arrangement in which the trustee holds legal and equitable title to the property subject to the provisions of a trust agreement setting out the rights of the beneficiaries whose interests in the trust are declared to be personal property 

How is it that I founded and run a Land Trust yet a Google search does not a yield a definition of Land Trust that I understand? And there begins our first challenge in telling people about our work and mission. In the first sentence “we are a land trust” most every listener probably thinks “I’ve heard of a land trust, but don’t think I know what it is”. I know when I first talked to someone about my desire to be involved in creating more parks he said “you should start a land trust”. As my mouth was saying “O.K. I’ll look into starting a Land Trust as the foundation to create parks” my brain was saying “What the heck is a Land Trust?”!

I have since found out what a land trust is and does.

It teaches the young and old.  It calms the busy and inspires the inactive. It feeds bellies and souls. It cleans and absorbs water. It lets waterways flow and riverbanks grow. It tells stories of the past and waits patiently for the future. It lets trees grow and turtles nest. It heals earth and restrains man. It is good and I am not confused about that despite those Google search definitions.

So that was a lovely flowery little paragraph, not any better than the dictionary now is it? But here it is with fewer flowers and more rocks.

Land trust property:

Teaches when people walk with a child and spotting exciting things like pretty wild flowers, furry caterpillars, really tall trees and silly squirrels. Teaches when we label trees and plants along nature trails. Teaches when we partner with schools and colleges to provide field labs and hands on observation.

Calms by providing walking trails and open fields to absorb stress, soften grief, free thinking and share in joy. Inspires to exercise when a nice trail to walk is nearby. No membership to buy. No lessons to take. No special clothes or equipment needed. Bring a friend. Bring a dog. Play. Relax. Daydream.

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