August 17, 2016

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program promoting the highest national standards for ensuring permanence in the conservation of American lands, announced that 38 land trusts alt 2across the country have achieved or renewed accreditation. Two Pennsylvania land trusts–Allegheny Land Trust and Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County–renewed their accreditation.

“It is exciting to recognize these community groups with this mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Each accredited land trust completes a rigorous review process and joins a network of organizations united by strong ethical practices. These land trusts have demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership, and lasting stewardship of the lands they conserve.”

chester countyIn total, more than 350 land trusts are now committed to the professional excellence that accreditation represents. The steady growth of that number across recent years — up from 300 in early 2015 — means that more than 15 million acres of conservation lands and easements are now stewarded by an accredited land trust.

A complete list of accredited land trusts is available here. The Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America.

Andrew Bowman, the Alliance’s president, applauded the announcement. “The growing number of accredited land trusts is one of the greatest shared accomplishments of our community,” he said. “I look forward to seeing this number continue to increase in the years ahead, reinforcing our community’s commitment to strong ethical practices.”

Each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation or renewal application. The process is detailed, thorough, and helps transform land trusts.