Protecting Lands

Land Stewardship

The Indian River Land Trust owns most of its preserves. As a landowner, it is the Land Trust's duty to care for these precious land and water resources. Land stewardship means ensuring their long-term sustainability for the benefit of current and future generations.

Land stewardship responsibilities for Land Trust-owned preserves involve:

  • Preparing and carrying out property management plans
  • Maintaining native habitats for plants and wildlife
  • Restoring native upland and wetland habitats
  • Controlling invasive and nuisance vegetation and animals
  • Building and maintaining trails, gates and fencing
  • Removing trash and addressing other impacts from humans
  • Enlisting citizen volunteers to help care for the preserves
  • Coordinating educational tours for the public and student groups
  • Facilitating scientific research at Land Trust preserves
  • Cultivating good relations with neighboring landowners and trail users
  • Partnering with like-minded organizations for healthy lands and waters
  • Conducting outreach to the public about the Land Trust's mission

The Land Trust also protects land with conservation easements. A conservation easement is a legal agreement with a landowner that protects the natural values of the land by limiting future development and land uses. Land Trust staff visit each conservation easement property annually to:
  • Develop and maintain a working relationship with the landowner
  • Record the condition of and any changes to the land
  • Ensure that the conservation easement agreement is being upheld
  • Work with the landowner to resolve any violations of the conservation easement agreement