Our Name

Commonweal, n. 1. the common welfare; the public good. 2. Archaic. the body politic; a commonwealth.

We chose the name "Commonweal" to signify the inclusive nature of our work. Land, air, water, animals, plants, and culture are precious aspects of our shared wealth-our common wealth-as a nation and as a community of interconnected people on the Earth.

"Conservancy" honors our origins as a gathering of people deeply committed to and experienced in the practice of connecting people to land. Conservancy also anchors our values of stewardship, healing, and renewal as fundamental goals of our work practice.

With the formation of Commonweal Communities, we brought focus to the community-building aspect of our work. The concept of community connotes fellowship, dialogue, and gracious neighborliness-and the knowledge that our human interdependence extends to our ecological communities, too.

The "Enso" or Zen circle that embraces our name is an ancient Japanese symbol signifying wholeness and unity. Its brush stroke reflects the inherent delicacy and humanness of our work—acknowledging that our well-intended, if ultimately imperfect, service to community and land is an artistic expression as much as a professional practice.