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A group of Coatesville residents and volunteers gather for ribbon cutting for the playground at Patton Park.

nature for all

Natural Lands invites you to be an active part of making the outdoors safe and welcoming for people of all races, origins, and identities.

Dear Friends,

As stewards of a broad network of publicly accessible open spaces and an organization that aspires to be inclusive and just, we acknowledge that, for far too many across our country and in our own backyard, justice is elusive and equity is a promise unfulfilled.

For too many of our family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, racism and other expressions of intolerance are facts of life. Clearly, this is unacceptable.

Natural Lands is deeply committed to connecting people to the outdoors at our 42 nature preserves and one public garden and through a wide array of programs. But barriers remain for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community who want to spend time in nature. We recognize that oppression and exclusion are part and parcel of the history of the fields, forests, and streams of our nation. We want to help write a new story.

Everyone should be able to go for a hike, play in a playground, paddle in a creek, or enjoy a family picnic in an outdoor public space without fear for their life or liberty. Everyone should have safe, nearby access to nature, no matter what community they call home. Everyone should feel welcome in the outdoors and at the organizations that, like Natural Lands, work to protect and care for nature.

In nature, biodiversity—meaning habitats that are home to a wide array of plants and animals—is the hallmark of a thriving ecosystem. Yet the sad truth is that the conservation and environmental communities have long ignored the fact that diversity is also essential to the health of our organizations and broader movements. A few years ago, Natural Lands began the long journey of learning and change necessary to alter this dynamic.

We are actively seeking to bring new perspectives and voices to our staff and Board. We are building new partnerships. We have established a staff team to help us continue to learn and to hold us accountable.  Diversity and inclusion goals are essential pieces of our strategic plan.

These are small first steps. We have a long road ahead of us. Despite our best intentions, we know we will misstep along the way. However, the endeavor is essential if we are to fulfill our mission’s commitment to “nature for all.”

Our efforts obviously cannot erase centuries of injustice nor solve broader societal challenges. But we can do our best to learn. To listen. To be open to ideas and conversations that are uncomfortable.

And we can work tirelessly to ensure that our organization and our preserves are safe and welcoming for everyone—making clear in no uncertain terms that everyone has a place in the Natural Lands community.

Photo: Mae Axelrod

 

Oliver Bass

Oliver Bass, President

many different hands on the trunk of a tree

connect your career and your conscience.

At Natural Lands, we are passionate about our work, united by shared values, and determined to make a difference. We strive to build an inclusive organization that reflects the communities we serve and celebrate the diverse voices of our employees, partners, volunteers, and visitors.

We welcome you to explore a career at Natural Lands.

current job openings

resources

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