We are proud to announce that we have earned national accreditation – a mark of distinction in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the OVLC’s lands will be protected forever.
Accreditation demonstrates the OVLC’s commitment to permanent land conservation and organizational excellence. The process required a top to bottom review of the entire organization and ensures that we are meeting the highest professional and ethical standards. We’re a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program and this strength will help ensure our permanence and make the Ojai Valley an even better place to live, work, and play. – Brian Stark, OVLC Executive Director.
Nationally, almost 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities – an area about the size of the state of West Virginia – are permanently conserved by an accredited land trust nationwide. The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy has protected 2,300 acres in the Ojai Valley and manages the properties for the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitats, the scenic character of the Valley, and public recreation opportunities. OVLC preserves include approximately 25 miles of public trails and over 4 miles of the Ventura River, and we have partnered with local storm water agencies to use preserve lands for natural flood water management projects that also create new habitats for birds and wildlife.
The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy was among 38 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in August, and is the first local land trust in Ventura County to earn the distinction.
The Conservancy now joins the more than 350 accredited land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work. Each accredited land trusts meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts so they can help landowners and communities achieve their goals. “It is exciting to recognize the OVLC with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Accredited land trusts stand together, united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. This network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership and lasting stewardship of conservation land.”
Why we undertook accreditation
The OVLC undertook the accreditation process because our local community deserves an organization that is dedicated to the highest possible professional and ethical standards. It is our community that founded our organization, funds much of our work, and they have placed their trust in us to protect and steward our open spaces. We take this trust seriously. Accreditation represents the highest bar for standards and ethics in land conservation, and we would settle for nothing less. – Brian Stark, OVLC Executive Director.
About the Accreditation Commission:
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization. The Commission recognizes conservation excellence by awarding the accreditation seal. More information about land trust accreditation can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations 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 love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.