NextGen Council

Our region’s future conservation leaders and advocates.

Launched in 2021, Natural Lands’ NextGen Council grew out of strategic priorities to build a younger and more diverse constituent base and evolve the region’s next generation of conservation leaders. Grounded in the broad intention to “spread the word, do good, and grow,” members of Natural Lands’ NextGen Council are leaders, opinion-shapers, and influencers who envision a future for our region in which conservation is universally held value and all communities are represented, welcomed, engaged, and invested in the outdoors.

The group, which plays an advisory role, convenes quarterly and more frequently via committees to:

  • Raise awareness of Natural Lands throughout the region and promote opportunities for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to become involved in and further the organization’s mission.
  • Advise Natural Lands of opportunities to advance its mission with younger and more diverse
    constituents—keeping the next generation top of mind.
  • Help evolve projects, programs, and events that build bridges between nature and younger audiences in
    the communities Natural Lands serves.
  • Foster connections with and advocate on behalf of our region’s underrepresented and underserved
    communities to advance accessible, meaningful conservation experiences through Natural Lands.
  • Provide valuable leadership training and networking for young community members interested in the
    outdoors and conservation.

Meet the current NextGen Council members.

Two Tree Swallows perched on a branch with their mouths open towards each other.

spread the word.

“Land for life. Nature for all.” These are the guiding principles of Natural Lands’ work. NextGen Council members build awareness and bring attention to the benefits of conserved land and the highest conservation priorities of eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey—ensuring more people have access to and an appreciation for the open space in our region.

Photo: Ed Cunicelli

do good.

NextGen Council works to forge meaningful connections between people, nature, and our region’s environmental and economic health. The council effects change through initiatives that generate awareness, engagement, and impact, especially among their peers.


Giving back can be personally beneficial, too. NextGen Council members take on leadership responsibilities, expand their professional and personal networks, while deepening their understanding of on-the-ground and policy-level conservation initiatives, the environmental issues affecting our region, and non-profit organizations.

NextGen Council members:

  • are in their 20s, 30s, or 40s
  • are passionate about open space preservation, outdoor recreation, land conservation, and ensuring that all people have access to open space
  • attend the majority of NextGen Council quarterly meetings and events and play an active role in supporting the NextGen Council and Natural Lands’ work
  • support NextGen Council efforts by sharing their perspective, passion, and interest with the Council and their personal and professional networks
  • serve at least one two-year term
  • make a personally-meaningful annual contribution
  • are committed to Natural Lands’ values

Apply to NextGen Council.

Applications for are now closed.
If you are interested in learning more about the NextGen Council, send a message to Gary, our director of development services.