When a species faces adversity, like habitat loss, pollution, or predation, land trusts step in as advocates, helping the threatened species to survive, and eventually to thrive. They work tirelessly to ensure environmentally diverse areas are conserved and cared for. In essence, they keep countless species safe.

How is it then, that we have so obviously missed the mark on keeping our own species safe?  

Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Christian Cooper, George Floyd, and far too many more haven fallen prey to systemic racism and inequality. Saratoga PLAN condemns the unjust killing, inhumane treatment and centuries of racial oppression of Black people. We stand with our Black community.

Though we have a lot to learn, we are committed to advocating for equity, inclusion and diversity. We aren’t entirely sure how this will translate into the work that we do, but we promise to strive – actively – to reach out, remove our blinders, and alter the way we do business.

What we do know is that the core of our mission is to create outdoor spaces “accessible by all” and that these words suddenly lack depth to us. Environmental quality, public health, and access to outdoor spaces are not equally distributed among the members of the human species. As we put our heads together to reflect on what we can do better, we wanted to let the Black community of Saratoga County and beyond know, we’re listening.

There is no excuse not to advocate for the diversity of our own species with the vigor with which we advocate for all other life on earth; Black lives matter. To our community of conservationists, we urge you to read, reflect and act alongside us. It is no longer enough to be passive or neutral. It never was.