Community Conservation

What is Community Conservation?

Community conservation is the practice of integrating nature into your city’s landscape. Because every community is unique, different towns may integrate nature differently to bring the most benefit to residents.  

MDC staff can help you find and visualize ways to incorporate nature that will best fit your community's needs and budget.  

Why Practice Community Conservation?

Studies show that integrating nature into urban and suburban areas can yield a number of social, health, environmental, and economic benefits. These include:

  • Increased social connections fostered by outdoor gathering spaces. 
  • Decreased obesity as trails and open spaces promote exercise.
  • Better air quality (and better health) because trees and other plants filter pollutants.
  • Improved economies because people spend more time shopping in areas with shade trees and natural features.

These are only a few of the benefits nature can bring your community. 

Want to Get Started? MDC Can Help.   

Community conservation planners offer guidance and funding to help you make the most of nature where you live. 


  • Financial assistance, including grants and cost share for habitat improvement, green infrastructure, stormwater management, native landscaping, and other conservation practices
  • Technical assistance, resources, and conservation planning tools to guide development and land management practices
  • Training and education for conservation best management practices
  • Education and recognition opportunities for community tree care — Tree City USA


  • Guidance for tree planting and care
  • Tips for attracting wildlife to your yard
  • Tried-and-true info native-plant landscaping 
  • Ways to support your city’s connections to nature

To learn more, contact your local MDC office

In This Section

Benefits of Nature

Nature is good for you! Studies show social, health, economic and environmental benefits.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure builds nature into your town to serve important environmental functions while reducing barren areas of asphalt and concrete.

Examples of Community Conservation

Community conservation can be practiced at both large and small scales.

Community Conservation Funding Opportunities

The Department of Conservation offers communities and partners a number of grant and cost-share options to assist with everything from green development, to wildlife habitat to enhancing outdoor recreation opportunities.

Resources for City and Municipal Leaders

Find programs and information to help you implement community conservation in your town or city. 

Resources for Community Developers

These websites provide information about soil, species of conservation concern, and other topics you may need as you build and develop your community.

Landscaping for Nature

The right plants and trees can be a haven for wildlife, prevent erosion, reduce the need for pesticides, and bring other positive features to your community. 

Related Content

Fire Department Assistance Programs

The Volunteer Fire Assistance and Federal Excess Property programs help rural fire departments improve fire-protection efforts at the local level.

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Conservationist Magazine

Our monthly publication about conservation in Missouri--free to all residents.

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Xplor Magazine for kids

Xplor helps kids find adventure in their own backyard. Free to residents of Missouri.

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