Virginia Land Conservation & Greenways Conference

July 21, August 10 & 11, September 10, 2020

Thank you to our incredible speakers! Presenters adapted content to the current challenges and opportunities in our communities. They talked about equity. They talked about how outdoor spaces are providing essential health and wellness services. They talked about food systems needed to grow our food and how it gets to our table. Thank you for joining us and being part of the conversation. We look forward to working with all of you to put these plans into action!

  1. Virginia Farm Economies and Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation

    August 11
    Virginia Farm Economies and Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation
    As Virginia’s number one private industry, agriculture is quite literally rooted in Virginia’s soils and nurtured by the spectrum of climatic zones from the coast to the Highlands. But farm viability is one of the many issues impacting our working landscapes. In this session, we’ll take a look at Virginia’s various farming industries, how they’ve changed over the past few decades and what it takes for a farm family to achieve a standard quality of life.

    Tom Stanley, Extension Agent, Farm Business Management, Virginia Cooperative Extension
    Kim Niewolny, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech

    Center for Food Systems presentation:

    Virginia Farm Economies presentation:

  2. Conservation Finance 101

    August 11
    The reasons for land conservation are innumerable. And throughout this conference, we’re pushing ourselves to think bigger about who gets included and benefits from this work. Financing is and will remain one of the greatest challenges to getting the work done. This session will run through the range of innovative—or just plain effective—funding and financing tools and strategies, including examples of how they have been put into practice. The session attempts to demystify conservation finance and provides attendees with a practical resource library of toolkits to continue their exploration.

    Michele Haynes, Program Associate for Strategic Initiatives, Conservation Finance Network
    Lynda Frost, Senior Project Manager, Trust for Public Land
    Diane D. Dunaway, Easement Program Manager, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

    NRCS presentation:

    Conservation Finance Network presentation:

    Trust for Public Land presentation:

  3. David Lamfrom, Equity in Our Organization, We Only Fail If We Stop

    August 11
    Join David for a powerful discussion about equity in the conservation community. Hear about his personal and professional experiences that have led to his career today. The conversation will challenge us all to think about how we approach equity. Don’t miss it.

  4. Chuck Flink, The Greenway Imperative

    July 21
    Charles A. “Chuck” Flink is an award-winning planner, designer and author. He is widely regarded as one of America’s leading greenway planners, having completed comprehensive greenway, trail and open space plans for more than 250 communities within 36 States and provided consulting services in Argentina, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Japan and St. Croix, USVI.

  5. Outdoor Partners for Community Health & Wellness

    July 21
    Led by the Virginia Department of Health, this session will discuss the current opportunities and barriers of accessing outdoor space, including trails, parks, and greenways as a way to improve health and health equity. You’ll meet the Rockbridge Rangers, a junior ranger program designed to encourage learning and physical activity opportunities in Rockbridge County and represents the combined efforts of many local partners as part of both the Rockbridge Area Outdoor Partnership and Healthy Communities Action Team, including Natural Bridge State Park. The session will conclude with resources, action items, partnerships and connections you can use to move these important concepts forward in your own community.

    Outdoor Partners presentation:

  6. Keynote: Nathan Burrell, Connectivity, Equity, and Access

    July 21
    Nathan Burrell is the Deputy Director of Government and Community Relations for the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Nathan is a native of Essex County Virginia who moved to Richmond in 1999 to pursue a degree in Parks and Recreation Management from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon completion of his degree at VCU in 2003, Nathan became the Trails Manager for the City of Richmond’s Parks and Recreation Department and held that position until he became the Superintendent of James River Park System in May of 2013. A position he held until becoming the City of Richmond’s Maintenance and Operations Superintendent for the Parks and Recreation Department’s Southern Division in August of 2018. During this time Nathan has been recognized as a leader in the Richmond community with awards ranging from “Top 40 under 40” by Style Weekly in 2011 to GRTC’s “Black History Month: Local History Maker” in 2017 and most recently honored as one of Richmond Times Dispatch’s 2018 “Person of the Year”. In addition to his formal job, Nathan also sits on a number of local boards and National Advisory Councils including Groundwork RVA as a founding board member and current board President, member of the Virginia Council on Environmental Justice and an Advisory Board member of the Essex County Conservation Alliance.