Accreditation: A Lasting Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence
GAINESVILLE, Florida (August 10, 2017) – At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Floridians strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1999, the Conservation Trust for Florida has been doing just that.
Now the Conservation Trust for Florida has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
“The accreditation seal is a symbol of professionalism, dedication and integrity. Working through the reaccreditation experience has made us stronger and the achievement conveys CTF’s commitment to upholding the highest standards for land conservation,” said Lisa Gearen, president of the Conservation Trust for Florida.
To achieve this national distinction, the Conservation Trust for Florida had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation renewal. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded the renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence in the Conservation Trust for Florida’s long-term stability.
Accredited land trusts must renew every five years, confirming their compliance with national quality standards and providing continued assurance to donors and landowners of their commitment to forever steward their land and easements. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.
Over the last five years, the Conservation Trust for Florida has been instrumental in protecting over 10,000 acres. Working with partners, foundations, citizens and landowners, we continue to lead statewide conservation projects totaling over 165,000 acres. Notable successes include the 5,000-acre Silver Springs Forest Conservation Area in Central Florida, now owned by the St. Johns River Water Management District and the protection of thousands of acres of historic ranchlands near the Everglades Headwaters.
“It is exciting to recognize the Conservation Trust for Florida 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 the Conservation Trust for Florida has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
The Conservation Trust for Florida was first accredited in 2012. It is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States 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.
The Conservation Trust for Florida is one of only five accredited land trusts in the state of Florida and one of only 389 accredited land trusts across the nation. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Conservation Trust for Florida
The Conservation Trust for Florida, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit land trust. The mission of CTF is to work with landowners to save Florida’s wild and working landscapes for future generations. CTF works with landowners whose properties are located within a network of conservation priority areas to implement projects that protect agricultural, wildlife and water resources.
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 www.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. Based in Washington, D.C., and with several regional offices, the Alliance represents about 1,000 member land trusts nationwide.
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 www.landtrustalliance.org.