In September 2001, the City of Edmonton released a report called "Conserving Edmonton's Natural Areas: A Framework for Conservation Planning in an Urban Landscape". This report was intended to promote discussion about future policy direction with respect to the natural areas planning and conservation process. One of the recommendations of the report was that the community should start a land trust independent of the City of Edmonton with a focus to conserve natural areas. After several years it became evident that there was not any one organization in the community with the capacity to implement a land trust organization.
In 2004, the Office of Natural Areas was directed by City Council to investigate how the City might foster the development of an arms-length land trust organization focusing on the conservation of natural areas. During 2005 the Office of Natural Areas considered organization models and consulted with community groups to establish a direction and approach to develop the land trust. A more comprehensive public consultation process to evaluate public support for a community-based land trust in Edmonton took place in early 2006. This consultation identified strong support from environmental non-governmental organizations and the general public for an Edmonton land trust.
One of the key outcomes of the consultation process was the identification of five organizations that were willing to work in partnership to form the land trust:
- Edmonton Community Foundation
- Edmonton Nature Club
- Urban Development Institute
- Land Stewardship Centre of Canada
- Legacy Lands Stewardship Society
The Office of Natural Areas asked the five partners if they wished to proceed without the City of Edmonton or ask them to be a sixth partner. After deliberating on their options, the partnership group requested that the City of Edmonton become one of six equal partners. This request was approved by City Council in June 2006 and they provided funding to the partnership group to complete a four year business plan and prepare the incorporating documents.
In November 2006 the partners presented the business plan and incorporating documents for the Edmonton and Area Land Trust which were approved by City Council. During the City of Edmonton 2007 budget process, City Council approved funding for $275,000 operational funding for the new land trust.
Additional Information about the Edmonton and Area Land Trust:
Land Trust Public Consultation Report 2006
This report summarizes the findings of the public consultation process that took place early in 2006 to evaluate public support for the creation of an Edmonton and Area Land Trust.
Land Trust Public Consultation: Report to City Council Transportation and Public Works Committee (May 15, 2006)
Outline of Pros and Cons of City of Edmonton Becoming a Partner in an Edmonton and Area Land Trust: Report to City Council (June 14, 2006)
Request for Operational Funding for Edmonton and Area Land Trust: Report to City Council (Nov. 14, 2006)