Mystic, CT (February 22, 2017) – At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1968, Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc., has been doing just that for the people of southeastern Connecticut and beyond. Now Avalonia announces it has achieved national recognition – joining a network of only 372 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work. Avalonia’s Executive Director, Heather Milardo, said “It is an honor to receive accreditation from such an esteemed organization like the Land Trust Alliance. We are incredibly proud of how far we have come and are looking forward to the future of, not only our land trust, but of the communities in which we serve. As we look toward our 50th anniversary next year, it feels good to know that we are going into the next 50 years as a nationally recognized organization with a clearer vision and a stronger foundation.”
“Accreditation demonstrates Avalonia’s commitment to the best practices and standards of land conservation in perpetuity throughout its mission area of southeastern CT,” said Dennis S. Main, President. “This significantly raises the bar of our level of performance as we prepare to embark on significant new acquisition and fundraising activities.” Acquisitions Chair and Vice President, Sue Sutherland, said “The amazing effort required to complete the LTA application for a complex regional land trust like Avalonia truly transformed the organization.”
Avalonia had to provide extensive documentation and undergo a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that Avalonia’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.
“It is exciting to recognize Avalonia 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.