Highstead works to inspire curiosity and build knowledge about plants and wooded landscapes in order to enhance life, preserve nature, and advance sound stewardship practices.

Wildlands & Woodlands Website

Read 2017 W&W Report

Highstead is Hiring Two Conservationists!

Highstead is expanding our program capacity and is looking for two talented professionals to join our team. The two positions, Conservationists, serve as project managers for two core areas of Highstead’s work: Conservation Finance and Regional Conservation. These positions have similar levels of responsibility but will focus on different portfolios of work. Please see each job description for complete details. Review of applications will begin May 1, 2019.

Conservationist - Conservation Finance
Conservationist - Regional Conservation Partnerships

New Study: Conservation Boosts Local Economies

A new study, led by Kate Sims of Amherst College and co-authored by Highstead Senior Conservationist Spencer Meyer and Harvard Forest colleagues, shows land conservation has a positive impact on employment in local economies. Published in Conservation Biology in March, the first-of-its-kind study looked at 1500 New England towns over 25 years, showing conservation had a net positive impact on economies with a heightened effect in rural communities in the five years following increased land protection. For more on the economic benefits of conservation, see our Conservation Finance Briefs.

Corridors and Collaborations, Migratory Pathways

Our winter mailer celebrates local initiatives that benefit our migratory friends – Monarchs, hummingbirds, and songbirds – and the work of many groups collaborating across community boundaries. This local work is brought into a much broader context with references to recent climate-related reports and our efforts to coordinate and support regional conservation partnerships.

As we build new partnerships and strengthen existing ones, the work we do in our own backyard is magnified, bringing more benefits to the wild species and the landscapes we cherish. Check it out here.

RCP Network Gatherings Expand Community for Conservation

The 2018 Gathering held at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst was a great success, with 18 workshops with topics ranging from smart growth, to exploring future landscape scenarios, to aggregating carbon credits, and more, attracting a record number of participants. You can access session descriptions and presentations here.

The 2019 conference theme, “Natural Climate Solutions for All,” will help regional conservation partnerships and their members address climate change impacts and build more resilient communities. Stay tuned for more details in late Spring.

Hudson to Housatonic (H2H) RCP Supports Expansion of Pollinator Pathway

H2H continues to play a supporting role for the growing local movement to improve habitat for pollinators. Highstead conservationist and H2H co-coordinator Hallie Schwab works closely with partners to provide emerging Pollinator Pathway communities with mapping tools and other resources to bring their residents on board.

A recent Pollinator Pathway All Partner Meeting in New Canaan attracted 92 participants, highlighting the great interest in taking action to protect pollinators with native plantings and reduced pesticide use. Read about the meeting here.