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Orange County Land Trust Accepted into Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Program

March 16, 2010 | Orange County Land Trust
Orange County Land Trust Accepted into Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Program

Photo courtesy of Orange County Land Trust

Middletown, NY (OCLT):  The Orange County Land Trust is pleased to announce it has been accepted into the national Land Trust Alliance’s accreditation program.  The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awards accreditation to land trusts that meet national standards of excellence and adhere to industry-wide standards and best practices in protecting important natural areas and working lands.

Only select land trusts can enter the rigorous accreditation process each year after successfully implementing guidelines in stewarding and defending conservation lands in perpetuity, as well as implementing accredited systems and standards in record keeping and administration.  These guidelines are outlined in the Land Trust Alliance’s Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust. According to Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn “accreditation provides the public with an assurance that their land trust meets high standards for quality and that their conservation work is permanent.”

Conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water, safe food, scenic vistas, wildlife habitat and places for people to enjoy nature.  The Orange County Land Trust has helped preserve almost 4,000 acres of land in nearly every community in Orange County, and one in Sullivan County.  Founded in 1993 by Former County Executive Louis V. Mills and a group of conservation leaders, the Land Trust was formed to provide a balance to the anticipated growth and development of our region.

The Orange County Land Trust will join The Nature Conservancy and 13 other land trusts throughout the country in the extensive accreditation review process, which culminates in the awarding of the Accreditation Seal of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

“We are delighted to be accepted into this program of accreditation, “said Deanna Prisco, president of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Land Trust. “The accreditation process has allowed us to really look at everything we do, and has made us more efficient as an organization.  We are very proud of our staff and volunteer board members who have worked diligently to implement these best practice guidelines into our daily operations.

It is especially important now,” she added “during such uncertain economic times, as we and our many supporters and volunteers continue to work to save important lands and working farms.  Accreditation will provide the public with the assurance that we are operating efficiently and are meeting high standards for quality, and that these lands will be protected permanently for future generations”.

The Land Trust Alliance 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 for favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices, and working to ensure the permanence of conservation.

The Orange County Land Trust is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the fields, forests, wetlands, ridgelines, and river corridors in and around Orange County through voluntary land conservation for the benefit of people.  The Trust owns and manages nine nature preserves that are free and open to the public every day for passive recreation such as hiking, birding and nature study.  The Land Trust partners with other conservation groups as well as community and government organizations to preserve Orange County’s natural and agricultural heritage.  For more information and for volunteer opportunities, ways of giving, and upcoming events, visit the website at www.oclt.org or call (845) 343-0840.

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