Alachua Conservation Trust Receives National Land Trust Excellence Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Recognized for its collaborative and innovative efforts
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Alachua Conservation Trust (ACT), a small Florida land trust that took a chance and advocated successfully for a county tax bond referendum, was selected by the Land Trust Alliance from among more than 1,700 land trusts across the country to receive its National Land Trust Excellence Award. The award was presented at Rally 2013: The National Land Conservation Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on September 17, 2013.
“Alachua Conservation Trust is honored to be chosen to receive this award. It is a reflection of the years of dedication, creativeness and perseverance of our talented staff, board members, volunteers, partners and generous supporters that allow us to carry out our mission of protecting Florida's natural and scenic places each day. ACT has benefited tremendously from the leadership, energy and ingenuity of its past executive directors Robert ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson and Lauren Day,” said Tom Kay, executive director.
ACT, an accredited land trust, is being recognized for its collaborative and innovative efforts in policy and creative funding as well as its broad education and outreach initiatives. Since 1988, ACT has helped to preserve more than 50,000 acres of land in North Central Florida. ACT’s success in spearheading the Alachua County Forever property tax bond referendum enabled it to acquire over 18,000 acres of natural areas. ACT operates four public preserves, conducts dozens of environmental education classes annually and operates Prairie Creek Lodge for art, cultural and alternative health education. ACT continues to build a family of organizations and programs to expand the reach of its conservation mission in the community.
ACT’s family of organizations and programs includes Conservation Burial, Inc., Tuscawilla Learning Center, Sandhill Stage, Forage Farm, Springs Eternal and Historic Haile Homestead, Inc. The efforts of its partners have expanded ACT’s reach in the community, and ACT is grateful for all the enthusiasm, cooperation and passion of its partners. Together the organizations complement one another’s missions and are committed not only to conserving more of Florida’s special places, but also to building a better community along the way.
When presenting the award, Michael Dowling, Land Trust Alliance chairman of the board, said “Today’s tough national political climate is having consequences on the ground throughout America and, in response, we are seeing some innovative and amazing initiatives. This year’s National Land Trust Excellence Award celebrates the work of this small but effective land trust in central Florida.”
About Alachua Conservation Trust
In Florida, ACT is one of only two local land trusts that are in the top 50 nationwide in both acres and value of lands protected. In 2009 they became accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. ACT has set the curve in diversity of projects – from easements, to historic preservation, to outright acquisitions, to environmental education. ACT has partnered with many conservation organizations along the way, including ongoing projects with The Nature Conservancy, the Trust for Public Land, The Conservation Fund, Putnam Land Conservancy and the Conservation Trust for Florida.
ACT has become the institution that most clearly projects this community's steadfast support of north Florida's natural beauty and rich heritage, on which we all agree is a legacy we must take responsibility for passing on to future generations. Learn more »
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, we increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, we enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Land Trust Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices.