East Cooper Land Trust Earns National Recognition

Moultrie News

At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 2002, East Cooper Land Trust has been doing just that for the people of East Cooper. Now East Cooper Land Trust announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of only 389 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the top land trusts in the country and are excited to celebrate this award with our community,” said executive director Catherine Main. “We will continue our work to permanently conserve natural spaces in East Cooper, making it an even greater place for us and our children.”

East Cooper Land Trust had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that East Cooper Land Trust’s property will be protected forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.

East Cooper Land Trust has permanently conserved 18 properties to date. Three are adjacent to public schools. Five are community gathering places, including two in Gullah-Geechee neighborhoods. One is a working farm. Each property has its own story and value, be it environmental, cultural or historical.

“It is exciting to recognize East Cooper 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 East Cooper Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

East Cooper Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released Dec. 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 percent of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.

• Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010-15 than land trusts that were not yet accredited.

• Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.

• As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased helping to 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 www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About East Cooper Land Trust:

East Cooper Land Trust is a community-supported nonprofit organization devoted to conserving natural spaces, thus the quality of life for current and future generations.

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.

Source: Moultrie News