Sound Finances * Ethical Conduct * Responsible Governance * Lasting Stewardship
Land Trust Conservation Projects Manager Nicole Hill walked across center stage at the Land Trust Alliance rally in New Orleans in September 2013 to accept our award of national accreditation on behalf of the entire Land Trust team – not just our board and staff, but also the great web of volunteers, supporters, and community and governmental partners who are at the heart of everything we do.
The award she was accepting was more than recognition of the good work we’ve all done. It was also a signal that we’re ready to take on the even bigger work that’s coming.
Between now and 2025, Pierce and Thurston counties – which contain nearly the entirety of the Nisqually Watershed – are projected to be the fastest-developing regions of Puget Sound. The need for smart, efficient, collaborative conservation in our watershed will grow only more urgent.
As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we can be proud of our successes – 4,600 acres permanently protected, a robust stewardship program in place to care for these lands, a rapidly expanding cadre of supporters and volunteers to carry the work forward, and innovative programs, such as the Nisqually Community Forest Project, that integrate conservation and economic support for our local communities and create models that can go out into the wider world.
But an important part of what accreditation means for us is that we are ready to meet new challenges. It was a rigorous and at times exhausting process conducted over two intense years.
The Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission examined, in detail, virtually every facet of what we do and how we do it: Our policies, our procedures, our finances, our records. It looked at our board, our staff, and our relationships with our supporters, volunteers, partners, and local communities.
What the Commission found, unequivocally, is that in every aspect the rich partnership that makes up the Nisqually Land Trust is a quality act, one whose systems and practices ensure, as the Commission noted, “that [the :and Trust’s]conservation work is permanent,” and that we have what it takes to protect the water, wildlife, natural areas and scenic vistas of the Nisqually River Watershed not only now, but in perpetuity. As of September 2013, fewer than 15 percent of the nation’s 1,700 land trusts had achieved accreditation.
We’re proud to be among them, and we recognize it as a team effort. To our supporters, volunteers, and community and governmental partners, we want to say thanks. It’s your award, too. We really appreciate all you’ve done. And we’re looking forward to working together to meet the challenges ahead.