Katawba Valley Land Trust Earns National Accreditation
Katawba Valley Land Trust earns national accreditation!
One thing that unites us as a nation is land; Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1992, Katawba Valley Land Trust (KVLT), has been doing just that for the people of Lancaster, Kershaw, Chester and surrounding counties by protecting over 11,800 acres to date. KVLT has also been a strong partner of the Lindsay Pettus Greenway in Lancaster, SC by providing land, support and advocating for the project over the years. This vision became reality in 2020. Now, KVLT is proud to announce that it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of over 400 accredited last trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.
KVLT President Mark Grier says “Accreditation is the gold standard to which land trusts aspire and I am so proud of what KVLT has achieved! The Accreditation process is incredibly challenging and demonstrates the KVLT’s and its founder Lindsay Pettus’ commitment to land conservation. Lindsay was a visionary whose love of nature and history was always at work building partnerships and inspiring others for the benefit of our community. Accreditation is a gigantic step forward for KVLT.”
Katawba Valley 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 KVLT’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land. KVLT 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.
According to Dick Christie, former Executive Director of the land trust, “the accreditation process has helped the land trust better understand the importance of due diligence and record-keeping when completing a transaction, records maintenance and protection for the long-term, and financial accountability of membership and stewardship donations. The process included reviewing all of our land acquisition records and conservation easement documents, as well as 28 years- worth of documents, some of which were stored in the attic of our office building! The entire process has left us in a stronger position to insure our business is handled in a manner consistent with nationally accepted standards and practices.”
“We are an even stronger organization going through the rigorous accreditation process. We will continue to grow KVLT’s commitment to its mission through community awareness, land conservation and educational outreach. Connecting people to nature is important to preserving our natural and cultural history. Land protection and conservation help provide this for us and future generations” emphasized Dr. Michelle Evans, current Executive Director.
The Katawba Valley Land Trust is a non-profit conservation organization dedicated to the protection of natural and cultural resources, open lands, waters and vistas in the Catawba River watershed of South Carolina and to conservation education. KVLT works with landowners who wish to preserve their land through conservation easements, donation, or sale. Many of our conservation efforts involve partnerships with local, state, or federal agencies and other non-government organizations. We are supported financially by individual membership dues, support from our corporate partners, and grants. See more about our history and who we are at www.kvlt.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 organization 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 in 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.