One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support protecting the places they love. Since 1996, Hunterdon Land Trust has been doing just that.
Now, HLT’s nearly quarter century of work, dedication to professional excellence and commitment to maintaining the public’s trust in land conservation has earned it reaccreditation from the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
“Renewing our accreditation demonstrates HLT’s unwavering mission to protect clean drinking water, farmlands, and forests and to honor Hunterdon County’s unique cultural heritage,” said Patricia Ruby, executive director of HLT. “Because we have gone through this rigorous reaccreditation process, we are a stronger organization, and that means the public can be assured that the places they love will be protected forever.”
To earn reaccreditation, HLT 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 HLT’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts – about 400 nationwide — now steward almost 20 million acres across the United States.
“Receiving accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission is the gold standard for land trusts across the country,” said Nancy Cunningham, president of HLT’s Board of Trustees. “HLT is proud to join five other New Jersey land trusts who have received reaccreditation in recent years.”
HLT first received accreditation in 2014. Since being incorporated as a nonprofit organization, HLT has preserved 9,713 acres in Hunterdon County. Its Dvoor Farm headquarters in Flemington is home to its popular Farmers’ Market, held every Sunday from mid-May to late November from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and its winter Farmers’ Market, which runs the first and third Sundays from December to early May from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It is exciting to recognize HLT’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 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.”
HLT 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.
The Land Trust Accreditation 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. It works to inspire excellence, promote public trust and ensure permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement.