North Florida Land Trust Earns National Recognition

The land conservation organization has received accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Jacksonville, Fla., Feb. 28, 2018 – North Florida Land Trust is incredibly honored and proud to announce they have been accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. This national recognition places NFLT within a network of 398 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated a commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work. NFLT has been saving open and natural spaces since 1999 and this national recognition shows their commitment to permanent land conservation throughout their 10-county focus area and beyond.

“This accreditation is a huge step for us and brings credibility to our operations,” said Jim McCarthy, president of NFLT. “A donor, large or small, will know we operate to the highest standards and are among the very best in the country. Cassie Froeba, our operations manager, did a great job of pulling our team together for our application and follow up. While everyone actively participated in this rigorous process, she, Susan Carr and Elizabeth Guthrie put in incredible hours to get this done right. I am so proud of our team for their hard work. This designation has strengthened our mission to preserve the beautiful lands throughout our state for future generations to enjoy.”

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The main objectives of the accreditation program are to build and recognize strong land trusts, to foster public confidence in land conservation and to help ensure the long-term protection of land.

NFLT provided extensive documentation and underwent a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that NFLT’s lands will be protected forever. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust. Architects, engineers, contractors, and building owners should know that working with an accredited land trust will earn credit to LEED certification.

NFLT is proud of what they have accomplished over the years. They have preserved thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive land primarily in Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union and Volusia counties. In the document they created and named the Preservation Portfolio, NLFT has identified more than 112,000 acres of land in critical need of preservation within their 10-county focus area. They have been successful in acquiring some of those lands, but continue to work to preserve the remaining properties. They are also leading a team of 18 partners to preserve approximately 100,000 acres within the Ocala to Osceola, or O2O, wildlife corridor, which is an important habitat for many threatened and endangered species.

“It is exciting to recognize North Florida Land Trust with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. Accreditation recognizes North Florida Land Trust has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

NFLT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released December 1, 2016 by the Land Trust Alliance. This comprehensive report also shows that accredited land trusts have made significant achievements.

  • Accredited land trusts have steadily grown and now steward almost 80% of conservation lands and easements held by all land trusts.
  • Accredited land trusts protected five times more land from 2010 to 2015 than land trusts that were not yet accredited.
  • Accredited land trusts also have stronger systems and more resources to steward and defend their conservation lands forever.
  • As a result, the public’s trust in land conservation has increased helping to win support for federal, state and local conservation funding measures.

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About North Florida Land Trust

North Florida Land Trust is a non-profit organization who serves as a champion of environmental protection primarily in Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Union and Volusia counties. NFLT was founded in 1999 and has protected thousands of acres of environmentally significant land including property at Big Talbot Island, the River Branch Preserve, Pumpkin Hill, Moccasin Slough, along the St. Mary’s River and other valued natural areas predominantly in Northeast Florida. NFLT is funded largely by private and corporate contributions and works closely with private landowners and other public agencies at all levels of government, not-for-profit partners, and foundations.  For more information, visit www.northfloridalandtrust.org. 

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.