RiverLink, a regional non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad River Watershed, today announced it has achieved accreditation -- a mark of honor in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that RiverLink lands will be protected forever.
Accredited land trusts across the country have permanently conserved more than 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas that are vital to healthy, vibrant communities.
"Accreditation demonstrates RiverLink's commitment to permanent land conservation in the French Broad River Watershed," said Executive Director Karen Cragnolin. "We're a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program and this strength will help make WNC an even better place to live, learn, work and play."
Since 2002, RiverLink has been working with private landowners to permanently protect water resources and quality of life throughout the French Broad River Watershed. RiverLink conserves springs, wetlands, riparian areas, steep slopes, and public access to rivers and parks. RiverLink also works to protect smaller parcels throughout the watershed that other land trusts might deem too small to include in their land protection program. The organization currently holds 115 acres in conservation.
RiverLink was among 37 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in February. RiverLink joins the 342 land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public's trust in their work.
"It is exciting to recognize RiverLink with this distinction," said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. "Together, accredited land trusts stand united behind strong national standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. In all, over 75 percent of private lands conserved by land trusts are now held by an accredited land trusts."
Each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts with systems that help landowners and communities achieve their goals. More information about land trust accreditation can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
The Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. More information about the many benefits of land conservation is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.