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Upcoming New Jersey Land Conservation Conference in Trenton

by Mary Galioto

The 20th Annual New Jersey Land Conservation Conference, also known as the “Rally,” an all day education and networking event about conserving New Jersey’s open space and farmland, will be held on Friday, March 18, 2016 at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, Trenton, NJ. This year’s conference theme is “Future of Land Conservation–the Next 20 Years” and the conference runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thirty-one workshops will be offered on topics including careers in conservation, climate change, ensuring the future of wildlife, environmentally friendly landscaping, urban land conservation and trail development on public open space.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Juan Martinez, Director of Leadership Development and the Natural Leaders Network for the Children & Nature Network, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing the public’s exposure to and enjoyment of nature. Martinez, who grew up in the city of south central Los Angeles and became an outdoor enthusiast as a teen, will talk about ways land conservation groups can increase the number of young people and diverse communities spending time outdoors.

The Rally will feature more than two dozen exhibitors, including a small farmers market, breads and cheeses from Bobolink Dairy & Bakehouse, honey tasting, and a pop-up Barnes & Noble bookstore featuring conservation-related books and videos.

The conference is geared toward professionals and volunteers in New Jersey’s land conservation community, as well as students in environmental programs. However, it is open to anyone interested in learning about land conservation.

Tickets are $80 for individual attendees if purchased by March 7, and include a continental breakfast, four workshops, a luncheon and an end-of-day social with door prizes.  After March 7, the price increases to $95. Students are invited at the discounted rate of $25.

The conference is planned and organized by a committee with representatives from New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions, D&R Greenway Land Trust, FAV Consulting, Great Swamp Watershed Association, Hackensack Riverkeeper, Isles Inc., Monmouth Conservation Foundation, New Jersey Green Acres Program, NJDEP Land Use Regulation Program, Raritan Headwaters Association, State Agriculture Development Committee, Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, Sourland Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land.

Lead sponsors include the Victoria Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

For more information, a schedule of workshops, and online registration, go to www.njconservation.org/rally or the eventbrite page by clicking here.

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