Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust announced it has renewed its status as an accredited land trust. National accreditation, which must be renewed every five years, requires the trust to follow the highest professional standards for land conservation and stewardship as one of 400 accredited land trusts across the nation.
“It is exciting to recognize Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
“National recognition of the high standards of quality, care, and ethics we apply to our work provides additional confidence to landowners, partners, and our supporters,” said Leigh Youngblood, Executive Director at Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust. “Achieving and maintaining accredited status demonstrates to landowners and the community that we are serious about our mission to protect land for future generations of children, farmers, and all lovers of the land.”
“I was asked to preview the application before we submitted it and I was very impressed with the staff’s work, both in terms of the care taken in assembling documentation, and in terms of the scope of the work we’ve done in the past five years,” said Steve Rawson, President of the Mount Grace Board of Directors. “It was inspiring to revisit some of the projects we’ve completed, like the conservation of the Eagle Reserve in Royalston, and the successful protection of the summit of Poplar Mountain in Erving. We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through this rigorous accreditation renewal process.”
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the national Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. The 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. Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres nationwide. A complete list of accredited land trusts and information about the process and benefits is at landtrustaccreditation.org.
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust is a regional land trust serving 23 towns in Worcester and Franklin counties and supported by 1,300 members. It protects land and encourages land stewardship for the benefit of the environment, the economy and future generations. Mount Grace was one of the first land trusts in Massachusetts to become accredited, in 2013. Since 1986, Mount Grace has helped protect more than 32,000 acres. Those interested in volunteering or donating can find more information at mountgrace.org.