We are an active member of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), a national organization that works on behalf of land trusts to increase the pace and quality of land conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices, and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats.
LTA’s Standards and Practices provide comprehensive guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and are systems and procedures we follow very closely. These guidelines are organized into the two categories of Organizational Strengths and Land Transactions, and our policies and procedures conform to these guidelines.
Our Audit Committee oversees an annual audit by an independent accounting firm. A review of the financial practices was part of our accreditation process.
National Accreditation = Nonprofit Excellence
In 2008, we realized that accreditation was an important mark of distinction that would move us to the next level of professionalism. We earned national accreditation in early 2012 and were re-accredited in 2017. This process occurs every five years.
What does this mean to our community and our donors? Being accredited means that we meet national standards for excellence in upholding the public trust and ensuring the land we conserve is permanently protected. Accreditation provides assurance that the land we protect today will always be there to provide food security, habitat, clean water, and so much more. We’re proud to be one of only 372 accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated a commitment to high standards and our communities.
“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” explained Tammara Van Ryn, Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, Executive Director. To learn more please visit the Accreditation Commission.
Being accredited doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels. We continually strive to operate as efficiently and responsibly as possible as we meet our mission of protecting the best of Whidbey and Camano islands. Despite all we’ve accomplished to date, we’re finding more to do, and in fact we’ve been increasing our pace of conservation work. Working with local landowners and our island communities to protect their land is more important now than ever.