Our shared purpose
Vermont is a place where the well-being of land and people is entwined. With families, communities, and partners, we conserve land and foster life-long connections to the farms, forests, and natural areas that define us. Because the more connected we are to the land, the more committed we are to its care.
Rooted in Vermont since 1977, we have protected more than 620,000 acres of farmland, forestland, and community lands, covering over 11% of the state. Much of this land is privately owned and contributes to our abundance of local food, maple and timber products, tourism and recreation, and the vitality of our towns and villages.
For our farms, our forests, and our future
What we do
Working towards the common good of land and people isn’t always easy. Collaboration is essential to success, as is being deeply rooted in the communities we serve. With expertise in conservation, ecology, community engagement, and finance, we help:
- Conserve land with important economic, community, and environmental benefits by limiting development and ensuring sound land stewardship practices
- Support farmers in buying land and growing sustainable businesses
- Improve the health of land, water, and soil, and share that knowledge with all others
- Ensure that permanent legal protections on 2,200 parcels are upheld, in partnership with landowners
- Connect all people to the outdoors through education and events
How we help...
Trust is at the center of who we are
Our core values
These were developed by and for our staff through a collaborative process. They continue to guide our actions, behaviors, and norms each and every day.
- Service: We value service through high-quality work and bring integrity to what we do.
- Trust: We value building and maintaining the trust of the communities and people with whom we work.
- Communication: We value transparency, listening, curiosity, candor, clarity, and patience.
- Fairness: We value the equal application of internal practices and policies, and we serve people regardless of their status.
- Community: We strive to be supportive to each other and those we work with and demonstrate teamwork and mutual respect.
- Learning & Growth: We value growth and improvement that challenges us and fosters learning, creativity, and flexibility.
Land for all
Equity and justice on the land
Racism and exclusion have long been tied to land ownership and access. From the first land speculators who laid claims to Indigenous lands, to systematic recruitment of northern European settlers, Vermont has a dark history that must be understood and addressed. This starts with learning and leads to collective action, including our efforts to:
- Help historically marginalized and oppressed people buy or lease land
- Clarify Indigenous rights to gather, forage, and hold ceremony on conserved land
- Learn from history, each other, and people who have been historically marginalized and oppressed
- Connect all people to accessible and safe places to explore
50 people strong, we love to have fun and be out on the land. Some people bring 20 years of expertise in conservation, forestry, or ecology. Others bring new perspectives from farming, finance, or community engagement. We are many things—parents and grandparents, maple sugarers, artists, hikers, farmers, and more—and we value what makes each person unique.
Grow trust every day. This intention drives our practices, whether we’re working with landowners, our federal and state partners, or one another. Curiosity and relationship are at the root of this practice. Whether your job is on the land or in the office, every person is united by a common purpose: to strengthen ties between land and lives. The work isn’t always easy, but it’s always rewarding.
Our Annual Report
This year, we contributed to the protection of 13,500+ acres. This included protecting the farms that sustain us, forests and wildlife habitat, clean water and healthy soil, and ensuring that all people can benefit and enjoy the land we call home. None of this would have happened without the support of our members — thank you from all of us!
Financial Info & Funders
We are deeply grateful for the 4,000 individuals and families who support our work—many of whom have been with us for decades. Additional funds come from state, federal, and foundation grants that help us buy land, purchase conservation easements from landowners, assist farm businesses, support clean water and healthy forests, and connect people to the outdoors in meaningful ways