Land-use webinar to explore conservation easements

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Conservation easements and their role in enhancing the landscapes and greenways of Pennsylvania communities will be the topic of a Web-based seminar in a land-use series offered by Penn State Extension.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar, which will take place at noon June 18, will be John Turack, extension educator in Westmoreland County; Andrew Loza, executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association; and Donald Bailey, executive director of the Chester County Planning Commission.

Conservation easements are increasingly being used by private land trusts and governments to limit certain uses of land for the purpose of achieving a particular conservation objective, while keeping the land in the landowner's control, Turack noted.

"An introduction to conservation easements will be discussed as well as how Chester County is utilizing conservation easements to preserve agricultural lands, open space and natural areas, stream bank corridors, and nationally significant historic landscapes," he said. "Descriptions of the potential benefits for the landowner -- financial and otherwise -- will also be outlined."

Webinars offered in the monthly land-use series, which all start at noon and are recorded for future viewing, include the following:

-- Feb. 19: "Transit-Oriented and Walkable Communities," presented by Angela Murray, of the Lower Merion Township planning department, and Patrick Roberts, a planner with the city of Pittsburgh.

-- March 19: "Understanding Data for Community Leaders," presented by Tim Kelsey, Penn State professor of agricultural economics, and Jeff Himes, Penn State Extension community development educator.

-- April 16: "Landscapes and Greenways in Pennsylvania -- What Is the Meaning of These Terms, and What Are their Implications for Pennsylvania Communities?" presented by Brad Clemenson, Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape, Jane Sheffield, Allegheny Ridge Corp., and Tom Buck, Northcentral Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission and the North Central Greenways Program.

-- May 21: "Pennsylvania Housing Research Center's Subdivision and Land Development Guidelines: A Tool for Better Design in Pennsylvania," presented by Katie Blansett, associate director, Pennsylvania Housing Research Center, and Neal Fogle, Penn State Extension community development educator.

-- June 18: "Easements Made Easy -- Applying Conservation Easements on the Landscapes and Greenways of Pennsylvania's Communities," presented by Andrew Loza, executive director of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, and Ronald Bailey, executive director of the Chester County Planning Commission.

The cost of the webinar series is $30 for all five webinars and $60 for all five webinars for those who want to receive certification maintenance credits from the American Planning Association.

For more information, contact Jeff Himes at 570-724-9120 or by email at jjh149@psu.edu, or visit the website to register for the webinars.

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Last Updated June 05, 2014