Greenwich Land Trust (GLT) proudly announces the renewal of its land trust accreditation, joining a network of 398 accredited land trusts across the country, committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
As part of the accreditation renewal process, which occurs every five years, GLT had to provide extensive documentation of its 759 protected acres and undergo a comprehensive review by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (LTAC).
The accreditation process confirms land trusts’ compliance with national quality standards and provides continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to be stewards of their land and easements forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests, and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
“Renewing our accreditation shows Greenwich Land Trust’s ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation,” said Will Kies, GLT executive director “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means that 759 acres will be protected forever, making Greenwich an even greater place for us and our children.”
Since its founding in 1976, Greenwich Land Trust has served as a caretaker of land by overseeing stewardship and making sure that the land is protected from development forever. The journey to accreditation began for the Land Trust in 2005 and was a multi-year undertaking by staff and volunteers, involving extensive review of every aspect of GLT operations – land stewardship, financial management, board leadership, and legal practices, to meet LTAC standards. In addition, staff reassessed all GLT properties and wrote 73 unique, detailed management plans for GLT fee properties and updated baseline reports for all conservation easements.
In November 2011, the formal application was submitted to the LTAC for consideration and 10 months later, in August 2012, GLT was awarded national accreditation.
“It is exciting to recognize Greenwich Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes that Greenwich Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
The Land Trust staff, with the assistance of numerous volunteers, monitor GLT preserves and conservation easements and regularly inspect each property at least once a year. In addition, they organize, plan and carry out maintenance and restoration projects as needed.
GLT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States (only 398 of which are accredited), according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released December 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.
- Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80% of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
- Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not accredited.
- Furthermore, accreditation has increased the public’s trust in land conservation, which has helped win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at landtrustaccreditation.org.
About Greenwich Land Trust
Founded in 1976, Greenwich Land Trust is a member-based, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting local natural resources through open space preservation and environmental education. For more information, please visit our website at gltrust.org.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000-member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at landtrustalliance.org.