Roughly 50,000 acres of the 1.5 million total acres of conserved land in Illinois are owned by non-governmental conservation groups, also known as conservation land trusts. Traditionally, conservation land trusts have protected land, often restored it, and later transferred it to government entities for long-term ownership, which effectively transfers the responsibility of land stewardship to those governmental entities.
Delta Institute—with partners including the Croatan Institute—released Soil Wealth: Investing in Regenerative Agriculture across Asset Classes, the most comprehensive look to date at investment opportunities in regenerative agriculture.
Delta Institute has worked with numerous communities who are faced with a closed–or closing–coal power plant. These sites have unique needs for redevelopment, ranging from environmental remediation to replacement of lost tax revenue and jobs. Delta facilitated a coalition of community groups located outside Pittsburgh, PA to create Guiding Principles for sustainable redevelopment of the closed Shenango Coke Plant property located on Neville Island, located on the Ohio River.
Delta led Merchandise Mart through initial LEED Operations and Maintenance Certification at the silver level in 2007 and recertification at the gold level in 2013. These efforts included assistance for the LEED Commercial Interiors Certification for the Designer Lounge. Through this work Delta has helped the Merchandise Mart establish waste diversion, tracking and monitoring strategies, including developing a scale and bar code system for measuring waste daily by location. We continue our collaboration today to reduce the Mart’s overall waste footprint.
Agricultural land management decisions are situated within a complex and interconnected system, influenced by a suite of social and economic factors, many of which are difficult to control. Landowners can, but often don’t, take it upon themselves to drive stewardship of their land. This report focuses on land ownership and tenure as levers to increase conservation and rebuild soil health in the Midwest, where over 50% of the agricultural land is leased.
Delta’s Gary Green Infrastructure Plan is a two-year project focused on assisting the City of Gary with planning and implementing Green Infrastructure designs, identifying 61 Priority Projects to install 26 acres of rain gardens, permeable pavements, street planters, and other GI designs, collectively reducing the negative impacts of 132 million gallons of stormwater annually.
Delta is designing new soil-health loan vehicles to allow farmers to more easily transition to regenerative agricultural practices. We have 5 loans underway in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, and are seeking to scale in the year(s) ahead. Our project is enabling investments in—and therefore increasing the scale of—regenerative agriculture.
Delta Institute secured funding from Cook County to perform an energy audit and LEED assessment of the Museum. As a non-standard building type, the Museum was one of the most challenging LEED projects Delta Institute has pursued. It achieved LEED Gold certification and received the Governor’s Sustainability Award in 2015.
Collaborating with Midwest communities to aid in their waste reduction efforts is one of Delta’s core initiatives. That is why we are pleased to have released our Demystifying Waste report with support from the EPA and the Building Material Reuse Association.
Delta Institute is an expert with construction and demolition waste reduction, recycling, reuse, policy and economic development. The City of St. Louis, St. Louis Development Corporation, the Missouri Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority, and Region 7 EPA selected Delta Institute to revise its demolition handbook, develop specifications for deconstruction, train contractors around building material reuse, and plan a deconstruction pilot program.