The Freshwater Land Trust Earns Continued National Recognition
Renewed Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. – The Freshwater Land Trust has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
“This accreditation helps us continue to carry out our mission of preserving the special places that matter in Alabama, and we are proud and honored to be recognized as meeting national standards of excellence,” Executive Director Wendy Jackson said. “This mark of distinction allows us to position ourselves among the community as dedicated stewards of Alabama’s exceptional and irreplaceable natural heritage, leaving a permanent legacy for future generations to admire.”
The Freshwater Land Trust is a 501©(3) nonprofit organization that acquires, conserves and connects open spaces that are critical for the protection of rivers and streams and that provide recreational opportunities for the community. Its mission is the acquisition and stewardship of lands that enhance water quality and preserve open space. The Freshwater Land Trust conserves land in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, Chilton, Bibb, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, and Walker counties. Some of the Freshwater Land Trust’s projects include Red Mountain Park, the Five Mile Creek Greenway Partnership, the Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System, Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, Tapawingo Springs, Moss Rock preserve expansion in Hoover, Wildwood Preserve in Homewood, the Cahaba Riverwalk on Grants Mill Road, among several others.
The Freshwater Land Trustwas awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that are now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
“The Freshwater Land Trust is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 280 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality.”
Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”
According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
“We are proud to display the accreditation seal and look forward to continuing our work in making land conservation a priority in our region,” said Executive Director Wendy Jackson.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that 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 from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance, of which The Freshwater Land Trust is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.