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Pass-Through Projects: A Land Conservation Roundtable


Pass-through projects, where a land trust acquires land with the intention of another entity being the permanent owner, are a productive method of conserving land. Land trusts have “flipped” hundreds of thousands of acres of land for conservation purposes to local governments and state agencies in Pennsylvania. What does it take to successfully accomplish these projects? Laura Bower and Kyle Shenk of The Conservation Fund will set the stage for discussion with an introduction to the topic. Andy Loza will then moderate the discussion as attendees share with colleagues their experiences and practices and explore common challenges, risks, and barriers.

To RSVP, email [email protected].

Kyle Shenk | State Director, Pennsylvania and Regional Director, Northeast Region, Conservation Acquisition, The Conservation Fund
Kyle serves as the Northeast Regional Director for the Conservation Fund, overseeing their work in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. He also serves as the Pennsylvania State Director, focusing on high priority conservation acquisitions and mitigation fund management.

A native of Pennsylvania, Kyle brought his life-long love of the outdoors to The Conservation Fund in 2007. Working with the non-profit, business, and government sectors Kyle spearheads conservation projects at multiple, scales, from local parks and greenways to landscape level ecosystem protection.

Kyle is a senior fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program. He holds a B.S. in Geoenvironmental Studies and certificate in GIS from Shippensburg University, and an M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University.

Laura Bower | Field Representative, Pennsylvania, Conservation Acquisition, The Conservation Fund
Laura joined the Fund in February of 2022 as the Pennsylvania Field Representative. In this position she coordinates land, water, and resource conservation projects throughout Pennsylvania by identifying funding opportunities, preparing grant proposals, and managing due diligence activities for real estate projects. She also utilizes GIS to create maps that help identify priority areas for conservation.

As a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania, Laura has spent the past two decades conserving land throughout the state. She started her career protecting farmland in the northern regions of PA where she worked in county government administering the Pennsylvania State Farmland Preservation Program. Laura then served as the Senior Land Conservationist for Heritage Conservancy; a regional land trust located in southeastern Pennsylvania. She utilized her skills in land conservation transactions to assist the Conservancy in the permanent protection of nearly 200 properties totaling over 7,000 acres. With a deep interest in amphibians, she was the catalyst for the development and management of an annual amphibian crossing program that resulted in the safe migration of over 1,000 spotted salamanders and other amphibians across busy roads near the Quakertown Swamp, which is one of the largest inland wetlands in southeastern Pennsylvania; this program still provides safe passage for amphibians every year.

Laura holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental Studies and Biology with a focus in Herpetology from East Stroudsburg University located in Stroudsburg, PA.


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