Conservation easements are voluntary and legally binding agreements that limit certain types of uses or prevents development from taking place on a piece of property now and in perpetuity to protect important conservation values — including preserving existing tree canopy and open spaces that could support trees in the future.
Casey Trees is proud to be the first and only for-purpose organization to serve as an easement holder for private and public lands in the District. In July 2015, Casey Trees accepted its first conservation easement — Crispus Attucks Park — a public community park occupying the courtyard space behind a single city block of houses in Northwest D.C.
Situations where conservation easements could provide benefit include lands:
- Currently supporting trees or vacant lands that could support trees in the future
- Located adjacent to ecologically sensitive areas such as rivers and streams
- Adjoining lots that when protected together provide larger open spaces
- Abutting parks, schools, historic sites and other areas of special interest
- Set aside by developers for open space or to meet storm water credit requirements
- City owned parcels that community members would like to remain parkland and/or greenspace in perpetuity
By placing land in conservation easements, Casey Trees aims to protect existing trees and ensure residents and visitors have ready access to tree-filled open spaces for generations to come.