BLT & Land Trust Alliance Accreditation

by John Watson

In September 2018 the Land Trust submitted an application for accreditation to the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization that represents more than 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than five million members nationwide. As described on the LTA’s website:

“Land trust accreditation is a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation. It sends a message to landowners and supporters: ‘Invest in us. We are a strong, effective organization you can trust to conserve your land forever.’”

Land trust accreditation is a carefully managed process, and has five basic steps. We are about half-way through.

The Application. The Land Trust submitted its initial application for accreditation in September 2018. The application provided the Accreditation Commission with extensive descriptions of our processes and organization in a large binder. We also provided additional information and details on a sample of our properties (of their choosing) on a flash drive.

Accreditation Commission Review. The review is meticulous and is carried over a few months. In mid-February, the Land Trust received a list of 25 questions regarding our policies and procedures. The Land Trust was asked to prepare responses for a conference call that took place March 1.

The Conference Call. Pete Raymond, Bill Horne, Gaile Raimey, and Joan Merrick prepared the responses with extensive input from Rob Olejarczyk and others and with the very welcome advice of Connie Manes, our LTA advisor. The call went quite well, with the LTA informing us that they “really enjoyed learning more about your land trust’s programs and appreciated that you were able to answer many of our questions on the call.”

Additional Information Request. The commission sent a request for additional information, which needs to be provided by May 22. This request for additional information following the conference call is a normal part of the accreditation process.

Final Determination. The Land Trust should receive notice of the commission’s final decision in mid-August.

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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263
info@branfordlandtrust.org

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