By Ann Fowler Wallace, Director of Programs

You are invited to participate in a Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities’ Webinar with special invites to the Northeast Funders’ Network, which will take place on Monday, February 12, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET. To register for this webinar, click here.

There has been a gradual evolution in how we think about and value our natural assets in the forested and farmed landscapes of the Northeast to consider their conventional economic value (wood products, fiber, food) and their value as provider of critical recreational and ecosystem services to rural and urban communities alike. By testing new approaches to conservation- and asset- based economic development across scales and across the geography of the Northeast, practitioners, academics, foundations, and mission driven investors are creating new ways to support land conservation, ecosystem services, and sustainable businesses. These new approaches, in turn, can provide a broad array of benefits and greater opportunities to people living and working in these places, as well as to our urban neighbors.

This webinar will look at how and where this new thinking and strategies are being deployed and how the philanthropic community might help to increase investment in innovative and sustainable economic development . The webinar will look back to examine the historical context of landscape-scale conservation in the region. It will review the diverse assets in our forest and farm communities and more expansive ways of valuing these economic and ecosystem services, locally and regionally, provided by both large-landscapes such as the Northern Forest and more fragmented landscapes. Webinar presenters will share what science tells us about the condition of these assets, in light of a changing climate and increased land development, and explore policies and practices to help conserve and sustainably manage them for people and nature over the long-term. They will also explore the barriers and questions that need to be addressed to help realize the promise of conservation and resource-based community economic development. Speakers will present examples of how conservation organizations, economic development interests, public health entities, small towns, rural communities, cities and urban regions are beginning today to work together more closely toward conservation and community goals.

Jay Espy, Executive Director, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (moderator)

Peter Stein, Managing Director, The Lyme Timber Company

Brad Gentry, Senior Associate Dean of Professional Practice, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Kathy Lambert, Science & Policy Integration Project Director, Harvard Forest, Harvard University.

Please register for this call by Wednesday, February 7 to be sure you receive the webinar details. The registration form will provide an opportunity to submit questions that you would like the speakers to address, which we will share with speakers in advance of the call. Webinar information and further background materials will be emailed to registrants on Friday, February 9.

For more information on this webinar contact Ashley Quintana at or Hooper Brooks at