At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1994, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy has been doing just that for the people of the Upper Delaware River region. Now, the Conservancy has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of only 372 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
“Renewing our accreditation demonstrates the Delaware Highlands Conservancy’s ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in the Upper Delaware River region,” said Executive Director Diane Rosencrance. “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. This evolution of the Conservancy means the special places of our region – the forests, farms, and clean waters – will be protected forever, ensuring our wonderful quality of life is protected for us and for future generations.”
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy provided extensive documentation and underwent a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation renewal. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded the renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that the Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever.
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.
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy has protected nearly 15,000 acres of working farms and forests, clean waters, and wildlife habitat to date in Pennsylvania and New York, and offers year-round educational programming to connect people to nature and cultivate stewardship of regional lands.
“It is exciting to recognize the Delaware Highlands Conservancy 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 the Delaware Highlands Conservancy has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
The Delaware Highlands Conservancy 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 protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not accredited.
• 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.