Allegheny Land Trust Earns National Recognition
August 24, 2022
For Immediate Release
Sewickley, PA – The Land Trust Alliance’s Land Trust Accreditation Commission granted Sewickley-based land conservation nonprofit Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) with its second renewal as a nationally accredited land trust on August 18, 2022.
ALT is one of fewer than ten percent of land trusts across the country to receive a second accreditation renewal.
“We are committed to helping local people save local land, and to upholding national standards of excellence to maintain the public’s trust as we grow our conservation work,” ALT President & CEO Chris Beichner said.
ALT provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The Commission’s renewed accreditation award signifies its confidence that ALT’s lands will be protected forever. There are more than 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, and they now steward almost 20 million acres – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.
Accreditation is awarded to land trusts meeting the highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence. Each accredited land trust completes a rigorous review process and joins a network of organizations united by strong ethical practices. This trusted network of land trusts has demonstrated fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership, sound transactions and lasting stewardship of the lands they conserve.
“It is exciting to recognize ALT’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission.
ALT has protected 3,600 acres of woodlands and meadows in 36 different local municipalities since its founding in 1993. Every resident of Allegheny County lives within 8 miles of an ALT conservation area. The organization conserves lands that promote biodiversity, protect air and water quality, preserve unique scenic character, provide wildlife habitat, create connections with other green space and offer opportunities for environmental education and outdoor recreation. Some of the land trust’s well-known green spaces include Audubon Greenway in Sewickley, Barking Slopes in New Kensington, Bethel Green in Bethel Park, Churchill Valley Greenway in Churchill and Penn Hills, Dead Man’s Hollow near McKeesport, Girty’s Woods in Reserve, Irwin Run in Gibsonia, Sycamore Island in Blawnox and Wingfield Pines in Upper St. Clair.
“We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the thorough accreditation renewal process. Our strength means special places – from our large, rural green spaces to our small, central community gardens – will be protected forever, making our region an even greater, more resilient place for us and our children,” Beichner said.
ABOUT THE LAND TRUST ACCREDITATION COMMISSION
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 9uality 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 ALLEGHENY LAND TRUST
Founded as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 1993 in response to the rapidly declining amount of green space in Allegheny County, Allegheny Land Trust has protected more than 3,600 acres to preserve our region’s unique natural beauty, provide accessible outdoor recreational opportunities, improve water quality, sustain biodiversity, and enhance the overall quality of life for all. ALT’s strategic priorities are in land protection, land stewardship, community conservation, and environmental education. More information: www.alleghenylandtrust.org.