One of the major stumbling blocks to greenlands protection is the issue of land acquisition, specifically what areas should be obtained, by whom, and for what purpose. A number of land trusts in Ontario share a common goal of securing significant natural areas, either through direct purchase or various land stewardship mechanisms. Some organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Heritage Foundation, have a fairly broad protection mandate; others, such as the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and the Couchiching Conservancy, concentrate their efforts on land acquisition and stewardship in select geographic areas. Some are well funded, relying on the benevolence of the public through donations and bequests. Others operate at a more grass-roots level, working directly with individual landowners to conserve significant natural areas or restore degraded ones. Historically, there has always been a limited amount of money available in public coffers to purchase significant greenland areas, but this situation will have to change if we expect to secure or expand extensive tracts of core greenlands in perpetuity.

Greenlands acquisition and stewardship by private agencies is largely an opportunity-driven exercise that takes place when a parcel of land becomes available. Assuming the price is right, the land is either purchased outright by the agency or a conservation easement or management plan is negotiated with the landowner. However, this form of securement tends to occur somewhat randomly, rather than as part of an overall plan.

Some ideas as to how greenlands securement can be improved through smart growth are presented in the Recommendations section.