Gaining Ground



Acres Protected

That’s about 873,068 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.


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

Minnesota 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


  • 2,462

  • 118

  • 22

  • 8

  • 45

Land Trust Longevity

  • 68 years old (1954)

  • 19 years old (2003)

  • 31 years old

State Association
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


Sources of Funding to Address Climate Change
  • Minnesota Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Conservation Partners Legacy Grant

Land Protected

There has been a 12% increase in Minnesota land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve Minnesota 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

$758 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

Minnesota land trusts are gaining ground.

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

  • Protecting water quality: The accredited Northern Waters Land Trust and Minnesota Land Trust launched the Clean Water Critical Habitat program in 2014 to protect 75% of critical shoreland and water parcels. Research shows that healthy watersheds with intact forests are fundamental to good fish habitat and effective protection of water quality.

    Read more
  • Addressing community needs: The accredited Minnesota Land Trust partners with the City of Duluth to protect and promote the city's nature-based recreation assets. Together with outdoor user groups, they are opening an ice climbing venue and the first new park in Duluth in 40 years; guiding the development of the Duluth Traverse, a 100-mile mountain bike trail that spans the city; completing improvements at the Grand Avenue Nordic Ski Center; and redesigning and reconstructing the shoreline at Chamber's Grove Park to improve fish spawning habitat and create ADA-accessible fishing opportunities.

    Read more

Land Trusts Working in Minnesota

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