The Caledonia Conservancy has earned an accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, which is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
The Commission announced yesterday that the Caledonia Conservancy is among 23 newly accredited land trust, bringing the total to 158 across the country. Those groups have helped conserve over 47 million acres of land.
Eric Roberson, president of the Caledonia Conservancy said that having the accreditation affirms that the organization is moving in the right direction.
“It gives us confidence that our use of funds of our 501c3 organization is being used correctly and withstands public scrutiny,” Roberson said. “It also establishes credibility for us as a professional land trust organization.
Wendy McCalvy, a board member and chair of the outreach committee, said the accreditation process helped the organization focus on resolving several issues.
“The process also helped make it clear that we really needed a part time executive director to help us keep track of everything and coordinate efforts,” McCalvy said. “We also decided to set up an endowment and to hire an accounting firm to be sure our financial ducks were in a row. And we now have a committee that is shifting more focus to fundraising with major donors.”
Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission said the accreditation decisions help to support the work the groups do to save land, especially in an uncertain time.
“Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that land trusts meet high standards for quality and that their conservation work is permanent,” Van Ryn said.
The groups champion conservation efforts, which help ensure clean air, clean drinking water, safe food, scenic vistas, wildlife habitat and places for people to enjoy nature, according the press release.
“Congratulations to the 158 land trusts that have been awarded accreditation,” said Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance. “This is a significant milestone and proves that land trusts of every size and from every region have what it takes to earn the public’s trust, as well as the confidence of Congress and the IRS who have granted land conservation special tax incentives.”