diversity, equity, inclusion, & justice
The Land Conservancy of New Jersey is proud to be comprised of a diverse range of professionals that reflects the communities in which we operate. We understand that through collaboration, diverse people with different experiences develop the most innovative and elegant solutions. Diversity is one of our key strengths. The Land Conservancy of New Jersey strives to:
Ensure our programs, land preserves, and resources are shared equitably to benefit the diverse communities of New Jersey and reflect the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the public we serve.
Engage in systemic efforts to make land preservation more meaningful to traditionally underserved communities.
Embrace collaborations and partnerships with like-minded organizations to achieve desired outcomes.
Empower individuals and diverse communities to protect open space.
Educate traditionally underserved communities about potential career opportunities in conservation.
Nature Is for Everyone
We are working to ensure that our organization acts in the interests of justice and inclusion, and that our messages and programs are reaching all nature lovers. Making sure black, indigenous, and people of color feel ownership of public lands (especially properties that we manage) is part of our mission, and we want everyone to feel welcome at our programs.
Returning Native Land
We have been working with the Rampough Lenape Indian nation for ten years, helping them navigate tax policies and ensuring safe access to their sacred sites in Bergen County. Now we are helping them establish a land trust and purchasing a mountain on the NY/NJ border--a sacred site with cultural and archaeological significance--that will be eventually be donated to the land trust, along with 100+ adjacent acres of their ancestral land that we currently own.
Promoting Diversity in Future Environmental Leaders
In 2020 we doubled our scholarships available to environmental science students for the next three years, and we have committed to giving six of them to students of color. Part of this effort is making sure we're reaching the students who would most benefit from these scholarships. For two years now we have been broadening our reach and targeting communities and organizations to encourage as diverse a pool of applicants as possible. We are doing the same with our internship program, and the results are encouraging.
Fresh Food for Those in Need
In 2018 we partnered with City Green, a nonprofit that offers equitable access to healthy food while promoting environmental stewardship and ecologically sustainable communities. City Green farms at our South Branch Preserve, and delivers tasty, nutrient-dense organic food at half price to SNAP and WIC cardholders in Paterson and Passaic County. In addition, the Community Garden at South Branch Preserve has donated more than 2,000 pounds of locally grown produce to food pantries over the past five years.
A Culture of Openness
DEIJ work is about more than messaging and programming; we're examining the culture of our organization as well. In 2020 we adopted DEIJ principles as part of our strategic plan, aiming to recruit more BIPOC staff and trustees over the next five year. We have provided training for our board on DEIJ issues, participated in a series of antiracism workshops, and hired a consultant to help us actively promote inclusivity and reflect the communities in which we operate. We pride ourselves on being a team that thrives on openness, respect and collaboration, and we continue to seek out ways to do this even better.