Western Reserve Land Conservancy— the largest land trust in Ohio— announced today that it has achieved national recognition, joining a distinguished group of accredited land conservancies that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
The Land Conservancy is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States, according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. Just over 400 of those are nationally accredited, and in Ohio, the Land Conservancy is among a select group of only six.
“We are extremely honored to receive this national recognition that positions us among the most credible land conservancies in the country,” said Pete McDonald, director of land stewardship, Western Reserve Land Conservancy. “Earning this accreditation challenged us to be even better and enhances our ability to forever protect land and special places for future generations.”
The Land Conservancy provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the Land Conservancy’s properties will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.
Western Reserve Land Conservancy is the largest local land trust in Ohio, and one of only a handful in the country that focuses on preserving a mixture of natural, urban and farm land. The organization has conserved more than 240 farms, helped create nearly 170 public parks and publicly-owned preserves and planted and distributed more than 13,000 trees throughout Cleveland. This year, the organization surpassed a significant milestone of permanently preserving more than 57,000 acres of land.
“It is exciting to recognize Western Reserve Land Conservancy with this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance and lasting stewardship.”
A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About Western Reserve Land Conservancy
Western Reserve Land Conservancy provides the people of northern and eastern Ohio with essential natural assets through land conservation and restoration. The Land Conservancy has preserved natural areas and working farms in more than 20 counties in northern and eastern Ohio. Its urban program, Thriving Communities, works statewide to clean and green urban centers devastated by the foreclosure crisis. To date, the Land Conservancy has permanently preserved more than 750 properties totaling 57,000+ acres; created more than 170 public parks and preserves; led the efforts to create 55 county land banks across Ohio; as well as planted and distributed more than 13,000 robust trees in Cleveland. For more, visit Western Reserve Land Conservancy.
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 http://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. 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 Land Trust Alliance.
Pictured In Cover Photo: Western Reserve Land Conservancy Central Office
Photo Credit: David Liam Kyle