The Land Trust Alliance, a national organization that supports private land trusts, announced that it selected the Valley Conservation Council as one of only 15 land trusts in the southeastern U.S. to participate in its new Excellence Enhancement Program.
“We are greatly honored to be one of two land trusts in Virginia chosen for this new and innovative program,” said Faye Cooper, VCC executive director. “We appreciate their confidence in us and this boost to help launch our work to a whole new level of effectiveness.”
LTA, as part of its national and regional strategies, is making intensive, multi-year investments in a few land trusts that have been identified as having high potential to significantly increase their conservation impact and program excellence. This collaborative project is intended to advance the effectiveness and sustainability of the selected land trusts.
According to the LTA’s statement of recognition, “Valley Conservation Council has demonstrated that it is prepared to become a stronger and more accomplished land conservation program. Based on this high potential for growth, the Land Trust Alliance has selected VCC for the Excellence Enhancement Program.”
VCC holds or co-holds 42 conservation easements and played a role in bringing about many more that are held by other partners. VCC was one of the early proponents of easements and a pioneer in riparian easements and easements for working farms. One of VCC’s major needs is to secure funding to expand its capacity to monitor and uphold easements.
The Excellence Enhancement program establishes a formal partnership between LTA and VCC over a three-year period, which includes commitment of LTA grants and technical guidance from LTA regional program personnel.
The Excellence Enhancement Program will help VCC:
- Strengthen its performance in program operations and leadership.
- Strive to achieve and maintain accreditation in demonstration of VCC’s conformance with LTA’s national code of land trust operational standards and practices.
- Increase the pace and accomplishment of efforts to protect, restore and defend important land, ecological and water resources.
- Assure long-term sustainability by securing necessary financing and public support.
- Gain greater community support and respect sufficient to maintain and sustain conservation programs.
The Land Trust Alliance was established 30 years ago as the national service center and leader and now serves nearly 1200 local and state land conservation organizations across the nation.
– Submitted by Faye Cooper