Conserving Land and Water for All North Carolinians

Fayetteville community garden

North Carolina is a diverse state – ethnically, racially, economically, and geographically.  While we come from different backgrounds, land connects us all. It feeds us, gives us water, and literally grounds us. CTNC’s Conservation and Diversity program is committed to ensuring that we recognize all of the meaningful contributions different communities make to safeguarding our land and waterways. It supports and encourages North Carolina’s land trusts to protect land in ways that are equitable, improve public access, and enrich all of our lives.

Our Conservation and Diversity Program reaches across racial, economic, generational and geographic boundaries to connect land trusts to all communities. We want to involve North Carolinians from all walks of life in conservation efforts that protect the water we drink, the land where our food grows, the open spaces where we recreate, and the neighborhoods we call home. Our commitment to diversity ensures that the next generation of North Carolinians will continue the legacy of preserving our land and water.

What We Do

diversity interns 2012

Max Mukelabai Diversity Internship Program: Introduces students from diverse backgrounds to careers in conservation by providing paid internships at land trusts and partner organizations. CTNC has funded 57 interns at 20 land trusts and 8 partner organizations since 2008.

Support for Minority Landowners: Provides outreach and assistance to minority and low resource landowners while connecting them with local land trusts and raising awareness about conservation options for their properties.

Rosenwald Schools Initiative: Protects and revives historic schools built between 1913 and 1930 for African-American students throughout rural North Carolina. This initiative helps connect cultural and natural heritage while sharing information about the unique history and geography of our state.

Future Leaders of Conservation (FLOC): This young leaders advisory board consists of 12-15 board members and reflects the demographics of the state’s under-35 population in terms of geographic region, urban and rural representation, ethnicity, race and professional skills. FLOC provides an opportunity for young people to learn about serving on a non-profit board and influence conservation work in NC. It also allows young adults to learn about the environmental, social and economic benefits of conservation through peer-to-peer networking and outreach.

Assistance to Local Land Trusts: Helps local land trusts expand their diversity outreach efforts by providing funding and training.

Our conservation and Diversity Program Partners are the Black Family Land TrustNC Community Development InitiativeThe Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities Program, Land Loss Prevention Project, Minority Landowner magazine, and North Carolina’s local land trusts.

We are grateful for generous support of the Conservation and Diversity program from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and individual donors.