Gaining Ground

Pennsylvania

880,722

Acres Protected

That’s about 667,214 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

426,440

More and more people are enjoying the benefits of nature.

Percent of Land Trusts That Provide Public Access to Their Lands

77%

Land trusts provide opportunities to recreate and recharge.

Number of People Served

157,621

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

Miles of Trails

332

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

Miles With Universal Access

17

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

91%

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

Demographics

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

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

Active Land Trusts

82

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

54

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

23

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

Learn about land trust accreditation

People

  • 46,664

  • 10,970

  • 423

  • 168

  • 869

Land Trust Longevity

  • 106 years old (1916)

  • 15 years old (2007)

  • 32 years old

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

70%

Percent of Land Trusts Receiving Funding to Address Climate Change

26%

Sources of Funding to Address Climate Change
  • PA Dept. of Conservation & Recreation

  • U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities

  • Wild Resources Conservation Fund

  • Environmental Protection Agency

Land Protected

There has been a 36% increase in Pennsylvania land protected by land trusts since 2010.

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

2010
2015
2020
Total acres protected
648,018
797,646
880,722
+36%
Under easement
200,252
265,378
310,198
+55%
Owned
142,277
168,165
184,975
+30%
Acquired and reconveyed
267,131
291,424
302,508
+13%
Protected by other means
38,358
73,723
83,041
+116%

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

86%

Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$1.8 billion

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017

64,600

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

Pennsylvania land trusts are gaining ground.

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

  • Providing access to land for all: The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania offers a 1-acre nature play area, called DiscoverGround, on its Beechwood Farms Nature Preserve. Set among woodlands and a wildflower meadow, the play area features a sandpit, a tree house, a climbing trunk, tunnels and serpentine walls.

    Read more
  • Protecting land for future generations: The accredited Brandywine Conservancy commemorated the 241st anniversary of the American Revolutionary War Battle of Brandywine through its acquisition of a key piece of land within the heart of the historic battlefield in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The ceremony celebrated the purchase of a 13-acre parcel located on Birmingham Hill — the epicenter of the battlefield — which merges with an adjacent 100 acres previously acquired by the Conservancy in 2007.

    Read more
  • Addressing community needs: The accredited Western Pennsylvania Conservancy plants and maintains 130 community flower gardens in the Pittsburgh region that are both beautiful and important urban wildlife areas for birds and pollinators such as butterflies and bees.

    Read more

Land Trusts Working in Pennsylvania

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