It’s always worth taking a look outside the Chesapeake watershed now and then to see what other folks are doing. A bit of exploring turned up some interesting land conservation work coming out of King County, Washington. And it all seems relevant to issues we are working to address in the Chesapeake. Here are a few highlights.
A couple of years ago, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed to “finish the job of protecting our great places forever.” From that grew an initiative to protect 65,000 acres over thirty years, an advisory board report, new county financing expected to bring in $148 million over four years for land conservation over four years, and more.
The county has produced a story map that provides an overview of the initiative. And it’s worth viewing as an example of conservation messaging too.
An emphasis on addressing long-standing problems with equity in land conservation and access to public lands is a big piece of the initiative. The county will invest $160 million to bring communities with limited access up to a “base level of open space infrastructure” guided by this map. An open space equity cabinet has also made a series of recommendations on how to help address inequities.
The county is also pursuing a Forest Carbon Credits Program as part of the land conservation initiative.
Equity and inclusion in land conservation, carbon sequestration, and land conservation financing are all topics members of the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership are wrestling with too. It’s good to learn what others are trying.