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 Seeks Conservation Interns for Fall 2019

Highstead is seeking Conservation Interns for Fall 2019. Interns will work with our Senior Conservationists to implement research, outreach, and policy projects that advance priority conservation initiatives. The paid internship will run 12 weeks, from September 23, 2019 to December 13, 2019. Ideal candidates will be recent graduates of Bachelors or Masters level programs with a demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for landscape ecology, conservation finance, regional conservation partnerships, large landscape conservation, and forest policy. For more information about the internship and how to apply, click here.

Successful Talk on Urban and Suburban Wildlife

We learned about our hidden neighbors - black bear, coyote, and white-tailed deer - at an eye-opening talk by Chris Nagy, Director of Research and Education at the Mianus River Gorge during our May 30 evening presentation. Chris presented on the wildlife-related research being conducted by the Mianus River Gorge and its partners across the New York metro area, including the history of white-tailed deer and efforts to reduce impacts of overbrowsing on the MRG Preserve in Bedford, NY, stories of eastern coyote families in New York City, and emerging black bear distribution across Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield Counties.  

Celebrating Birds at Highstead!

On Highstead Open Day, Senior Ecologist Ed Faison guided a wonderful bird walk for members and other area residents around the Highstead woodland trails and meadows. Highlights of migratory birds seen and/or heard include blue-winged warbler, Nashville warbler, ovenbird, scarlet tanager, blue-gray gnatcatcher, and our very first bobolink of the year!

The walk was followed by a talk by Audubon Connecticut’s Katie Blake, who gave an excellent presentation on native plantings for birds and other Audubon programs in the area. View our bird list and link to bird-friendly plantings.

Highstead Welcomes Conservation Intern

Highstead is pleased to welcome our new Conservation Intern, Tara Whalen. Tara holds a Masters in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Stony Book University. Tara comes to Highstead after varied work experiences in the conservation field with organizations and agencies including New York City Audubon, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and the New York City Energy Efficiency Corp. Tara will work with Highstead staff to provide support for the New England Forest Policy Group, the Northern Appalacchian Trail Landscape Partnership, the Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative, and planning for the 2019 RCP Network Gathering.

New Report Sheds Light on Foundation Funding for Conservation

The Highstead conservation finance program released several new resources for our conservation partners: Nathalie Woolworth, a 2017 intern, and Senior Conservationist Spencer Meyer published a new report describing recent trends in private foundation grant-making for environment and land conservation in the northeast. 2018 intern Kat Culbertson, along with Spencer and communications manager Cheryl Daigle, launched a new series of Conservation Finance Perspectives to showcase many ways in which land conservation benefits our communities and economies, and addresses climate change. These briefs are geared for RCPs and land trusts to communicate the benefits of conservation to municipal, business and legislative leaders.

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.