David R. Foster, PhD

Dear visitor,

Climate stability, clean air and water, parks and trails for outdoor experience, productive farmland, varied woodlands and wild forests, and thriving rural to urban communities—all are essential to our well-being and depend on keeping nature intact. Land protection coupled with strategic development play a vital role in conserving our environment, and are our collective responsibility. We must confront the complex environmental and social challenges facing our planet as a global community.

Highstead is a champion for land protection and thoughtful land stewardship across the Northeast, advocating for a collaborative, inclusive, and multi-sector approach to conservation to serve nature and society. Since our founding in 1982, we have evolved from a Connecticut-based arboretum into a hub of strategic innovation and collaboration among conservationists, scientists, landowners and land trusts, municipalities, philanthropists, and business leaders.

Together with our growing network of regional partners, we work to realize the Wildlands & Woodlands vision, which calls for public and private collaboration with willing landowners to permanently protect by 2060 at least 70 percent of the New England landscape as forests, along with the existing 7 percent of the land currently in agriculture. With forests maintained as managed woodland and as wildlands influenced solely by natural processes, the New England landscape will become accessible to and supportive of all, and will benefit both nature and people. 

I invite you to learn more about our work in the region and to join with us and your local conservation partner to advance the Wildlands & Woodlands vision. Whether you’re reading our latest research or experiencing the beauty and splendor of our 100+ acres of natural woodland and meadows, we hope to inspire you to engage in and protect the natural world. Together we can ensure that future generations have healthy and sustainable places to live, work, and enjoy.

David R. Foster
President, Highstead Foundation