Magazine article Parks & Recreation

This Land Is Our Land: A Down Economy Presents a Unique Opportunity for Public Parks and Open Space

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

This Land Is Our Land: A Down Economy Presents a Unique Opportunity for Public Parks and Open Space

Article excerpt

With home sales flat, gas prices at an all-time high, and the U.S. economy plodding along at a generally sluggish pace, it s difficult to identify a silver lining in the market today.

Unless you're a conservationist, that is. Because, in that case, now is a fantastic time to be shopping for land for public parks and open space. In fact, according to the Feb. 25 issue of Newsweek ("Wide-Open Space for Sale"), developers' wait-and-see approach has "opened the way for local governments and nonprofits ... to snap up property, from Florida to Oregon, that can be set aside for parks and recreation."

Indeed, this seems to be the case. "The reduction in real-estate values," says Conservation Fund CEO Lawrence Selzer, "has created an opportunity for conservation that we have not seen in many years."

Selzer, whose organization has protected nearly 6 million acres of wildlife habitat, farmland, and greenspace across the past quarter-century, contends that the challenge is to organize resources quickly enough to take advantage of this temporary situation. …

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