Local Land Trust Earns Accreditation
Taken from The Livermore Independent
Tri-Valley Conservancy (TVC) has been certified by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. This would be no small achievement even for a large conservation organization, and for the Tri-Valley Conservancy it is a real feather in its cap, according to Sharon Burnham, executive Director of the Tri-Valley Conservancy.
Thus far, only 78 of the nations nearly 1,700 land trusts have been accredited since the program started in 2007.
The voluntary accreditation is not administered by the IRS, but by the Land Trust Alliance as a self-regulatory mechanism to recognize land trusts that meet the highest standards in the industry. This is a milestone for the only Alameda County Land trust.
At a time when the public is demanding increasing accountability from nonprofit organizations and government, including land trusts, the new independent accreditation program provides the assurance of quality and permanence of land protection the public is looking for, said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. Today land trusts can join museums, hospitals, universities and other nonprofit institutions that demonstrate that they deserve the publics trust through rigorous accreditation programs.
Land trusts applying for accreditation submit extensive documentation and make a significant commitment of time and money to participate. In a rigorous review process, the Commission examines each application, interviews the land trust and evaluates multiple sources of information, including comments from the public.
When we first started the accreditation process I was told by an associate 'to enjoy the journey',' stated Sharon Burnham, Executive Director of Tri-Valley Conservancy. 'Every step of the way our board and staff gained knowledge and benefited from the research necessary to complete the application. Every minute spent on the process added to TVCs competence and proficiency. We have become a strong organization because of the process. What an incredible journey it has been for us. We are looking forward with pride to displaying the accreditation seal on all of our materials.
The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation signifying that the accredited group meets national standards for excellence, upholds the public trust and ensures that conservation efforts are permanent. remarked Van Ryn.
TVC will be recognized for their awarded accreditation at a ceremony at the Land Trust Rally, the National Land Conservation Conference in Portland, Oregon in October 2009. The rally, hosted by The Land Trust Alliance, is the largest annual gathering of land conservationists in the country.
Based in Livermore, TVC works to preserve agriculture, working farms and ranch land, habitat and scenic open space. Since its founding in 1994, the organization has brought more than 4,100 acres under permanent protection. More information is available on the conservancys website www.trivalleyconservancy.org.