CELT’s mission is to conserve and steward lands for ecological benefit and the enjoyment and education of all people. Ecological principles teach us that diversity cultivates stability and resilience in any environment. We aim to model these principles as we work to understand the needs of and welcome people of all economic status, cultural and/or spiritual backgrounds, races, nationalities, classes, sexual orientations, gender identities, ages, and abilities. We are committed to continuous education as an organization and as individuals, and seek to bring greater diversity, equity, inclusion and justice to our organizational structure, workspace, outdoor environments, and educational programs.
Why CELT values DEIJ Work
CELT values Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) principles because we recognize that DEIJ work is an integral piece of society as a whole. A more diverse exchange of ideas yields stronger and more improved outcomes.
We acknowledge that our unceded conserved lands are the traditional lands of the first people of the Wabanaki Confederacy of tribes who collectively stewarded these lands for centuries before us. We acknowledge indigenous ancestors – past, present and future. We honor with gratitude the land itself, and we commit to learning to be more conscious and respectful stewards of the land we inhabit and care for, and to invite all people to share in the work.
Acknowledgement of Inequities
CELT recognizes the historic and systemic exclusion and erasures that have often accompanied environmental conservation. Thus, we commit to continuous learning and working to expand opportunities for a wide range of peoples to experience the natural world in Cape Elizabeth throughout our programs.
DEIJ in the CELT Workplace
At CELT, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all employees and volunteers, whatever their age, race, ethnicity, national origin, education, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or physical or mental ability or condition, are welcomed as community members, are actively invited to share their insights, and whose input is valued. We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and provide equal opportunity for employment, leadership, and learning in all of our work areas. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and work to ensure that all voices are valued and heard. By embracing, respecting, and valuing different standpoints, identities, and experiences, we can become better stewards of CELT’s cherished lands through the intersectional lens of conservation and environmental education.
We Commit To:
● Continually publicize that we as an organization are welcoming to people across the ranges of ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, languages, races, etc., and that we seek to continually learn and improve our practices.
● Communicate these values through varied outlets including posting the DEIJ statement
on the website, showing pride flag stickers, including a land acknowledgement in newsletters, and sharing pertinent news stories.
● Share an open invitation to all trail users, neighbors, and community members to contact us about any needs or suggestions for improvements.
● Expand publicity efforts to spread the word that trails throughout Cape are free to visit and explore.
● Create a wider variety of trails to serve diverse user abilities, including at least one classified as Universal Access.
● Improve access for visitors who have been limited in the past, such as by adding bike racks, improving parking areas, and enabling bus transportation.
● Expand educational programming with underserved populations, working through partner organizations when available.
● Create a wider variety of events to serve diverse user interests, such as offering active long hike/rides, affinity group walks, largely stationary events, scheduling a range of times, and targeting all ages.
● Strive toward a workplace culture where everyone can feel safe and included.
● Incorporate these values into ongoing annual work plans.
● Incorporate traditional use allowances into new conservation easements and deeds.
● Provide equitable market-based compensation for seasonal and permanent staff.
● Continue regular check-ins with staff (and board/committee members, etc.) to ensure diverse needs are heard and are addressed as organizational capacity allows.
● Continually review our organization’s actions and policies along with internal organizational education to ensure that we collectively foster a more inclusive environment.
Actions we have already taken to support DEIJ
● Established current CELT DEIJ Working Group
● Participated in trainings on DEIJ issues in land conservation
● Began building relationship with Boys and Girls Club
● Installed more inclusive signage on trails
● Discussing internally in our committees
● Began collaboration with neighboring land trusts on DEIJ efforts
● Added goals and actions to strategic plan and annual work plans (build UA trail, establish more partnerships with programs where people are transported to/from CELT lands for educational programming, have signage legible by those not fluent in English and/or colorblind)
The Cape Elizabeth Land Trust abides by the highest ethical and professional standards in pursuit of our mission. Our decision-making process is thorough and systematic, involving careful consideration and evaluation of relevant information from many perspectives. We act with honesty and accountability in all our organizational endeavors.
Purposeful and Strategic Action:
CELT’s responsibility for the lands we protect is perpetual. We will act purposefully and strategically to achieve lasting land conservation.
CELT believes in the intrinsic value of conservation lands, which preserve valuable habitat, promote traditional land uses, and provide opportunities for inspiration and recreation.
Engaging Our Community:
CELT engages with our community in a focused, collective effort to nurture a conservation ethic. We create opportunities that enhance understanding and appreciation of the natural world, inspire action toward land conservation, and foster a commitment to protecting natural ecosystems.
CELT actively participates in community decision-making, working in concert with municipal and state government, as well as local, regional and national organizations, to promote shared land conservation objectives and to leverage results. As a respected and trusted participant, we expand and strengthen the community’s values as we lead decision-making processes related to conservation.
CELT strives for the highest level of quality in every aspect of our work. We create and maintain the organizational structure essential to achieve excellence, including the operational capacity and financial resources required to achieve our land conservation goals.