One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1975, the Wyndham Land Trust has been doing just that for the people of Northeast Connecticut. Now the Wyndham Land Trust announced it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
"Accreditation demonstrates the Wyndham Land Trust’s commitment to permanent land conservation in the Quiet Corner, said Michael St. Lawrence, President. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means special places – such as Bull Hill in Thompson and the Duck Marsh in Pomfret – will be protected forever, making this an even greater place for us and our children.”
The Wyndham Land Trust provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the Wyndham Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
The Wyndham Land Trust owns property in the ten towns that make up Northeast Connecticut, but in just two years, the Wyndham Land Trust has expanded the Bull Hill Preserve in Thompson and Woodstock to 885 acres, a testament to the land trust’s commitment to protecting this expansive unbroken forest.
“The land trust has focused on the Bull Hill project since the end of 2016,” said President, Michael St Lawrence. “A lot of volunteer time and energy have gone in to it, but it’s gratifying to know how much impact we are having. We’re excited to protect so much land in such a short period of time. We’re getting a lot of support from the community, which inspires us to keep pushing forward. Accreditation earns us national recognition for the work we’re doing and for the people that volunteer their time to make it all happen.”
“It is exciting to recognize the Wyndham Land Trust with 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.”
The Wyndham Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. There are 120 land trusts in Connecticut, and 30 of them have been accredited by the Land Trust Alliance. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
Photo Caption: The Wyndham Land Trust protects over 4000 acres in Northeast Connecticut including Long Pond in Thompson and its ecologically valuable wetland habitat. (Photo courtesy of the Wyndham Land Trust)
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation 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. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices.
The Alliance’s leadership serves the entire land trust community—our work in the nation’s capital represents the policy priorities of land conservationists from every state; our education programs improve and empower land trusts from Maine to Alaska; and our comprehensive vision for the future of land conservation includes new partners, new programs and new priorities. Connect with us online at www.landtrustalliance.org.