This Land Is Our Land
A Primer on public land ownership and opportunities for recreational access
ChangeLab Solutions developed This Land Is Our Land to assist individuals and communities in understanding the complexity of public land ownership and some of the related legal and policy issues that may arise when partnering with public entities to create opportunities for physical recreation.
More than one-third of the land in the United States – nearly 900 million acres – is owned by federal, state, and local governments. Public property is a common asset shared by all, yet much of it is unused or underused. This land presents an untapped opportunity to create new public resources for recreation and physical activity, potentially improving the health of people and communities.
Armed with in-depth knowledge of the key issues, stakeholders should have the ability to transform public property into active public space – whether by creating a sports complex on a former farm managed by a state hospital, converting a naval training center into a vast state park, or transforming a vacant lot into a community garden.