One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1985, TILT has been working to conserve the natural beauty, diverse wildlife habitat, water quality, and outdoor recreation opportunities of the Thousand Islands region, for present and future generations. Today, TILT is excited to announce that it has renewed its Land Trust Accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust.
“Accreditation indicates that TILT conducts its business with the highest standards possible and assures our donors, supporters, and neighbors that the land trust is committed to its long-term responsibilities and permanence of our land conservation work,” said Greg McLean, Board President.
Through this renewal process, TILT provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that TILT’s lands will be protected forever. The Land Trust Accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts a review of each applicant’s policies and programs. For TILT, being an accredited land trust represents many years of hard work and an ongoing commitment to conserving the natural places we all love within the Thousand Islands and greater St. Lawrence River Valley.
“This is yet another example of how TILT has become a leader in conservation and a proven example of non-profit excellence. Highlighted through the review process was the Commission’s recognition of TILT’s Strategic Conservation Plan. When developed, TILT’s Strategic Conservation Plan was and continues to be seen as one of the most cutting-edge blueprints for land conservation in the country,” explained Jake Tibbles, Executive Director.
Since its founding, TILT has helped safeguard the regional landscape of the Thousand Islands by accepting conservation easements, acquiring property, and by establishing accessible areas available for public enjoyment. Currently, TILT protects over 11,000 acres of land, both fee-owned land and conservation easements, including important wetland, grassland and woodland habitat. This includes 10 Signature Preserves and over 20 miles of multi-use trails that are open to the public, year-round. During the year, TILT hosts annual TILTreks, KidsTreks and TILTKids Day Camp programs, which promote living, learning and conserving in the Thousand Islands.
TILT was initially awarded National Accreditation by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission in 2009, and was among the second class of land trusts to receive this distinction. TILT was awarded their first renewal of accreditation in 2014, and this marks TILT’s second renewal.
“It is exciting to recognize TILT’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, Executive Director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust that 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.”
TILT is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org