What is a Land Trust?

Simply stated, a land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, for conservation purposes. However, this simple definition leaves much to be explained.

Basic Definition

A land trust is a charitable organization that acquires land or conservation easements, or that stewards land or easements, to achieve one or more conservation purposes.

The conservation purposes may include protecting natural habitat, water quality, or scenic views; ensuring that the land is always available for farming, forestry, or outdoor recreational use or protecting other values provided by open land.

Land trusts work cooperatively with landowners to complete real estate transactions, sometimes purchasing property interests and sometimes accepting donations of those interests.

Land trusts also work to ensure that land previously acquired or placed under easement is properly conserved. They seek to bring lasting conservation benefits—permanent improvements—to communities.

Our Conservation Work

Fox Chapel Area Land Trust owns land and also oversees held conservation easements. Our goal is to protect this land from development and keep it in a unchanged or, if possible, natural form to encourage environmental quality for the community. We protect for benefit of the community for scenic views, wildlife preservation and forests and the related biodiversity. Our goal is for marque properties and to available for education and responsible, low-impact public uses.

Structure

Like most land trusts, FCALT is a private charitable organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our board of directors is responsible for the actions of the land trust and is comprised of individuals drawn from the communities the land trust serves.