Once you get to the free rank, you have the option to warp somewhere into the wilderness and begin a settlement.
We use a custom-generated wilderness map that comes with new biomes. To get to the wild, you can do
/rtp to be brought to a random location.
There is a no-griefing policy on the server. Therefore, land claiming functionality has been added. To claim land, do
/kit claim to get a claiming tool. You are then able to select the claiming area, which will disallow everyone but you and the people you trust to build on the claim.
Everyone starts out with a limited number of claim blocks, which steadily increases with playtime.