New speaker series to focus on land conservation finance

by Carol Elliott

Mendoza Hartman Series Land Conservation Finance

Prompted by concerns over urban sprawl and loss of open land space, land conservation finance is the subject of a new spring speaker series sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

The Hartman Series in Land Conservation Finance features experts in land conservation strategies and discussions on topics including conservation-oriented development practices, the for-profit conservation industry, public capital, tax incentives and local initiatives aimed at land conservation.

While sustainable development practices such as smart growth, brown field reclamation and urban in-fill development have gained momentum, there also has been an explosion of programs and important funding mechanisms to protect open spaces directly.

“This series is going to look not only at some trends in real estate and land use practices, but we’re also looking at the mechanisms that conservationists use to conserve land,” said David Hutchison, director of the Opus Corp. Real Estate Program at the Mendoza College of Business. “Primarily, we’re going to look at the financing structures that are available because ultimately, the money is a critical part of this process.”

Lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held at 7 p.m. in 210 DeBartolo Hall on campus. The schedule is as follows:

Feb. 24 — Story Clark, a land conservation strategy and finance specialist from Conservation Consulting

March 3 — Peg Kohring, Midwest director of The Conservation Fund, a group dedicated to land and water conservation

March 24 — Kathy DeCoster, vice president of the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for parks, community gardens, historic sites and rural lands

March 31 — John Turner, the Beverly and Eldon Spicer Visiting Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming

April 14 — David Hutchison, finance assistant professional specialist and director of the Opus Corp. Real Estate Program at Notre Dame

The Hartman Series is supported with funding provided by Mary Louise Campbell Hartman in memory of her late husband Charles M. Hartman, a 1963 Notre Dame graduate and pioneer in the field of conservation financing.

Contact: David Hutchison, 574- 631-9084,