Land Trust Accreditation

by Susan Haislip Daleke, Administrative Director

This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here.

In February, Sycamore Land Trust reached a significant milestone by earning national accreditation= with the Land Trust Alliance. LTA is a national leader in policy, standards, education, and training, working passionately to support land trusts like Sycamore so we can save and secure more lands now and for future generations. The Accreditation Commission is an independent program created by LTA in 2008 and tasked with recognizing land trusts that meet the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence. The Commission awards the accreditation seal – “A Mark of Distinction in Land Conservation” – to those organizations demonstrating “excellence, trust, and permanence.”

After a rigorous certification process involving testing for compliance with more than 100 individual standards and practices, Sycamore was one of only 12 land trusts across the nation to receive first-time accreditation in 2019. Key elements determining our award of accreditation included continuing substantiation of:
• Responsible governance
• Ethical conduct
• Sound finances
• Lasting stewardship practices

Accreditation is an ongoing process. To retain our accredited status, Sycamore must apply for renewal every five years proving compliance with those same standards and practices that initially earned us the accreditation seal.

So what does all of this mean to Sycamore’s supporters? It means that now, more than ever, you can trust that Sycamore Land Trust conducts business in keeping with the highest standards of our profession. Accreditation validates our commitment to you that we will steward and protect the land entrusted to our care for forever. Successful conservation takes the vision and commitment of all of us. Sycamore will lead by example.