2019-2024 Strategic Plan


This document is intended to create a shared vision that advances CRLC’s mission and focuses the organization on things we need to achieve in the future - not only on the things we do well. 


The Capital Region Land Conservancy’s mission identifies our stakeholders and how we serve them. Our vision is how we would like to serve them as an organization. Our values highlight the ways in which we seek to operate as an organization and form the foundation from which all strategies, policies, and organizational decisions are made. 



Our mission is to conserve and protect the natural and historic land and water resources of Virginia’s Capital Region for the benefit of current and future generations.



Our vision for the future of Virginia’s Capital Region includes:

  • Protecting significant areas of land that preserve our healthy watersheds, scenic and historic landscapes, forests, and farms
  • Promoting a healthy community that enjoys connected natural areas, a vibrant economy, and a better quality of life 
  • Educating our community and nurturing a well-developed land conservation ethic
  • Being recognized as a preeminent and respected authority in land conservation 



  • Integrity and Excellence: We embrace high ethical standards and operate with complete transparency.  We strive to earn and maintain the trust of landowners, donors, partners and the general public. 
  • Collaborative Decision-making: We work collaboratively to assist our partners and to help craft conservation solutions that best serve our communities.
  • Permanent and Voluntary Land Conservation: We are committed to voluntary methods of land conservation, such as conservation easements, that will permanently conserve natural and historic lands throughout Virginia’s Capital Region.
  • Relevance to Our Community and Sense of Place: We are dedicated to sustaining our region’s healthy communities and strong sense of place.
  • Responsible Stewardship: We are committed to the long-term monitoring and management of permanently protected lands.
  • Excellence: We hold ourselves to the highest performance standards and employ advanced and innovative practices in the conduct of our work.   



CRLC will conserve and manage strategic lands with high conservation values

  1. Identify and prioritize the most important parcels for potential protection
    1. Coordinate and use models such as CRLC’s Vision Map, ConserveVirginia, Virginia Natural Heritage Data Explorer, and other relevant mapping tools to analyze and prioritize location of projects
    2. Seek projects with water quality benefits, adjacency to conserved lands, potential for public access, important farmland, productive forestland, or areas of local and regional importance
    3. Educate elected officials and staff of localities on important areas to be conserved and identify such in the local comprehensive plans 
  2. Facilitate or hold conservation easements or fee-title ownership on appropriate lands
  3. Steward the conservation values of conservation easements held or co-held by CRLC and maintain positive relationships with landowners
  4. Partner with local governments on stewarding conserved lands, including private lands protected by conservation easements held by the locality
  5. Comply with the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards & Practices and sustain accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission



CRLC will have stable organizational structure, operating capacity, and financial support

  1. Strengthen and develop the Board of Directors and Advisory Board
    1. Recruit strong and engaged Board members, train and retain them to ensure knowledge and skills can collectively achieve conservation excellence, and plan for leadership succession
    2. Engage all Board members in management and fundraising
  2. Create and execute an annual financial plan with a diversity of revenue sources to ensure there are sufficient funds to maintain our staff and sustain program activities.
  3. Provide an inclusive environment that allows for open dialogue. Ensure communication effectively provides for input, feedback, and reporting.
  4. Actively seek ways to improve organizational efficiencies and effectiveness and ensure that CRLC has the necessary resources, leadership, and training to carry out its mission.
  5. Increase current reserves to 6 months of the annual operating budget.



CRLC will be relevant to the community and valued by our members as a strong and viable conservation organization 

  1. Increase the organization’s relevance to the broader community, diversify participation, and build a strong land ethic that places an urgent importance on land conservation
  2. Advocate for policies and programs that support land conservation efforts
    1. Engage the broader land trust community to educate policy and decision makers at the local, state, and federal levels
    2. Maintain relationships with local, state, and federal legislators and officials
  3. Work with the conservation community, particularly key partners and allied interest groups, to improve methods and tools to educate landowners and their advisors
  4. Play a key role in developing public access to existing conserved lands or through new opportunities to implement existing plans for community trails and green spaces 
  5. Participate in public events and activities that reach target audiences
    1. Provide hiking, biking, and boating opportunities for the public to access conserved lands
    2. Engage audiences at community events, festivals, and farmers markets
    3. Host at least one annual fundraising event a year
    4. Provide relevant content on social media to disseminate information about land conservation news, initiatives, policy, funding, employment, etc. 
    5. Design website as a source of dynamic and static information about CRLC and its programs that also displays on mobile devices
  6. Build name recognition and public enthusiasm for CRLC through effective public relations including active placement of editorial and news media coverage.

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