Gaining Ground



Acres Protected

That’s about 588,796 football fields!

Land trusts have already conserved 61 million acres of private land across the nation — more than all of the national parks combined. Help us conserve another 60 million acres by the end of the decade.

Together, let’s keep Gaining Ground.

Visitors to Land Trust Properties


Visitors in 2020, more than triple that of 2015.

Percent of Land Trusts That Provide Public Access to Their Lands


Land trusts provide opportunities to recreate and recharge.

Number of People Served


Land trusts provide programs and activities to get people outside and learn about the land.

Miles of Trails


Walking, hiking and other outdoor recreation improve people's health and well-being.

Miles With Universal Access


Universal access trails are designed to be used by all people, regardless of ability.

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Community Engagement in the Last Five Years


Land Trusts Are Deepening Relationships With:
  • People from various racial and ethnic backgrounds

  • Older adults or those living in retirement communities

  • People who identify as LGBTQ+

  • People living with disabilities

  • Veterans

Land Trusts Are Helping Address Community Needs, Including:
  • Youth education and development

  • Community and economic development

  • Food security and agriculture

  • Health and wellness

  • Social and environmental justice


Every land trust is as unique as the community it serves.

Michigan land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.

Active Land Trusts


A land trust is a nonprofit that conserves land by acquiring and stewarding land or conservation easements.

Learn more about land trusts
Alliance Member Land Trusts


Land Trust Alliance members commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.

Learn about the land trust alliance
Accredited Land Trusts


Accredited land trusts undergo a thorough review of their practices in governance, finance, transactions and stewardship.

Learn about land trust accreditation


  • 22,964

  • 1,582

  • 118

  • 42

  • 347

Land Trust Longevity

  • 72 years old (1952)

  • 15 years old (2009)

  • 32 years old

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Focus on Climate Change in the Last Five Years


Percent of Land Trusts Receiving Funding to Address Climate Change


Land Protected

There has been a 19% increase in Michigan land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve Michigan lands, waters and ways of life.

Total acres protected
Under easement
Acquired and reconveyed
Protected by other means

Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Land Owned and Under Easement Held by an Accredited Land Trust


Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$390 million

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017


Source: NRCS - Natural Resources Inventory

This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.

Making a Difference

Michigan land trusts are gaining ground.

Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of Michigan's most pressing issues.

  • Addressing community needs: After Kim de Bruin developed muscular dystrophy at 17, she thought she would never again take in the views from Old Baldy, a sandy summit towering over Aracadia Dunes in northwest Michigan. Thanks to a universal access trail to Old Baldy built by the accredited Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, she was able to visit again 43 years later. "Today, I ‘walked’ in the woods in one of my favorite places,” wrote de Bruin after using the new Overlook Trail. “I sat on top of the world, enjoying all the beauty of the greatest lake. After I stopped crying, I could see again.”

    Read more
  • Tackling climate change: Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy is incorporating climate change considerations into comprehensive and far-reaching plans for its 365-acre Wau-Ke-Na preserve. The property, which is open to the public, includes numerous ecosystems, ranging from forests and fields to streams, ponds, bluffs and beaches — all critical to rare bird species, such as sedge wrens, bobolinks and eastern meadowlarks. Specific strategies include reintroducing native flora and fauna and disabling on-site drainage ditches, for example.


Land Trusts Working in Michigan

Land Trust Alliance member land trusts, listed below, commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.