- Donate Now
- Who we support
- How we work
- Do your share
- EarthShare @ Work
- Engagement tools
- News & Media
TPL was founded in 1972 with goals of protecting land in and around cities and pioneering new land conservation techniques. Over the years, our work expanded to include projects from inner city to wilderness, and our broad experience has made us a national leader and innovator in city park creation, state and local conservation funding, and using GIS for conservation planning.
Founded for Innovation
Not long after the first Earth Day, a group of lawyers, real estate professionals, and finance experts founded TPL to bring a modern business approach to conservation. Sophisticated finance and legal techniques have since helped us complete more than 4,250 park and conservation projects nationwide. In the early years, TPL shared this knowledge with other conservationists and fostered the growth of local land trusts to protect open space for communities across the West.
Funds and Visions for Conservation
In the 1990s, responding to an emerging need, TPL established its Conservation Finance service to help communities organize and pass conservation ballot measures. TPL has also pioneered watershed conservation to protect drinking water and the use of conservation easements to protect working farms and ranches. Most recently, TPL launched an award-winning, GIS-based Conservation Vision service to help communities identify which lands to protect and where parks are needed most.
Innovation remains in our DNA, and TPL project managers bring business skills to conservation projects from the canyons of New York City to the canyons of Montana. In cities, TPL crafts strategies for turning vacant lots into community-designed parks and playgrounds. TPL's Center for City Park Excellence sponsors research and shares best practices for city park systems. And TPL is addressing the looming climate crisis with a three-pronged climate conservation program to help reduce greenhouse gasses, promote climate adaptation, and create park-rich, climate-smart cities.