What We Do

Economic Benefits of Conserving Land

Insert that title ---- “Economic Benefits of Conserving Land” ---- into a search engine and you’ll discover an explosively expanding list of rigorous academic studies into the return on investment we receive from money spent to protect natural open space and create parks. In several independent studies the Conservation Economics service of The Trust For Public Land calculated that $1 invested in land conservation returned $4 in economic value in natural goods and services in Virginia, Massachusetts, and Ohio. The return in New Hampshire was an eye-popping $11.

There is much talk these days about investing in Infrastructure --- usually thought of as road and bridges, as things made of concrete and steel. Investments in our Green Infrastructure are equally important, much more pleasing to the eye, and potentially last forever. Far from being money that is “set aside,” investing in land conservation means actively putting funds into resources that provide essential benefits …. forever. That’s ROI no savvy investor would pass up!

The benefits we receive here in the East Bay are huge. In 2017 the East Bay Regional Park District commissioned a new study that concludes that the 120,000 acres in the District produce an annual economic value of $500 million to East Bay residents, and separate related economic impacts of $191 million annually. Wow. Here are just a few benefits provided by these investments:

  • Ecosystem services such as clean air and water, healthy food, wildlife habitat, genetic diversity, pollination, waste treatment, and climate regulation
  • Business attraction, retention, and capital spending
  • Recreation and tourism
  • Public health and welfare
  • Public safety and education
  • Enhanced property values
  • Many quality of life factors

If you’re thinking about where your next investment dollar should go …. you might just look outside.