Aug 15 2011

The Places and People We Love

John GattusoAt a recent land trust conference, I was part of a group that was asked why we were involved in land preservation. I was surprised at the variety of responses. Most people stressed that land preservation is a practical response to ever-increasing development pressure. Protecting clean water and fertile soil simply makes good sense, and preservation is an effective way for communities to manage growth and stabilize property taxes. For others, the reasons were more personal. They viewed nature as a source of beauty and inspiration that requires protection, just as we protect great works of art.

For me, being involved with the Hunterdon Land Trust resonates with a deep-seated connection to home and family and a sense of generational responsibility. In my view, it comes down to a simple question: What kind of community do we want to leave to our children? Do we want it to be a place with abundant clean water and fresh air, where healthy food is grown at local farms and everyone can enjoy open spaces and beautiful landscapes?

Together, we can create this community, but it requires planning, hard work, vigilance and, yes, money. For me, it’s a commitment I gladly undertake – to protect the places I love for the people I love.

~ John Gattuso

President, Hunterdon Land Trust

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