One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1972, The Conservation Foundation has been doing just that for the people of northeastern Illinois. Now we are incredibly proud to announce that we have 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.
“Land trust accreditation is an important mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation, and we are very proud to have earned it,” said our President/CEO Brook McDonald. “It’s voluntary, but we felt the time was right for our organization to achieve this milestone. Accreditation is a catalyst for improvement, which results in faster, better, stronger conservation; it strengthens both individual land trusts like us and America’s land conservation movement.”
We had to provide extensive documentation and went through a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that lands preserved by The Conservation Foundation will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts in the United States steward almost 20 million acres of land – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.
“It is exciting to recognize The Conservation Foundation with this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation 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.”
We are one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census, but only about a third of those, including The Conservation Foundation, have been awarded accreditation.
Special thanks to our DuPage County Program Director Jan Roehll, who took on the task of managing our accreditation process! We hope this distinction will solidify the trust of our donors and supporters in our integrity and dedication to making meaningful impact with your donations.