Accreditation

Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust Earns National Recognition
Accreditation Awarded by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission


seal_green_Tagline-HorizontalThe Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust was awarded accreditation in August 2014. Accredited land trusts must meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The accreditation seal (at left) is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

Press release 

Celebration of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust’s Accreditation

by Kay Doyle, then President of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (September 2014)

On behalf of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, I am here today to salute Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust for your success in earning accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.  Your collective efforts have resulted in this accomplishment thanks to the generosity of your donors, and the hard work of your Executive Director, Jane Calvin, staff, Gwen Kozlowski, the Board of Directors, President Mark Romanowsky, past presidents, Henry Marchand, Steve Conant and Matt Donahue, as well as the volunteers of the Trust.  Furthermore, your organization is 1 of only 10 in Massachusetts, and 1 of only 280 land trusts in the country out of thousands of land trusts, to earn this level of distinction.  Finally, this accreditation recognizes the overall excellence of your organization, not just for the land restoration and protection, but also for your programming, your finances, and the documentation of all of your work.  Congratulation for a job well done!

accreditation-awardThe Greater Lowell Community Foundation is very proud to be a partner with Lowell Parks and Conservation Trust as you continue to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Lowell, not just for the present, but for the future.   In addition to being the beneficiary of several park endowments, your organization has established your own endowments with the Foundation. By doing this, you have taken the steps necessary to guarantee the financial security of your properties for generations to come.

Your commitment to preserving the land trust’s property for the future is visionary.  Current and future citizens will be able to enjoy in perpetuity all of the Trust’s parks, the Hawk Valley Farm, and the beautiful Spalding House. Soon you will be adding another jewel to your crown, the Concord River Greenway.   As a member of this organization, I have long admired your work, watched you grow, reach for the stars, and succeed.

How very fortunate we are as city and region to have so many dedicated and generous people who give their time, their talent, and their treasure to invest in projects that benefit all of us now and forever.  This organization and the work that you do is such a gift for our city and region as it enables everyone, no matter who they are, no matter where they live, no matter what their income level is or what their age is – it enables everyone to have the opportunity to experience nature right in their own backyard in an urban setting.  They may have not known that it was here, but you have shown everyone the way. Through your programs, all of us will be able to learn as John Muir said, that “going to the woods is going home” so that “nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, …while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

Because of you, everyone will have the opportunity to experience the restorative powers of nature, not just for the plants and the animals, but for themselves, a gift for all and for all time.

On behalf of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation Board of Directors and staff, I wish you continued success in your endeavors. We cannot wait see what you will be coming up with next!  Congratulations!

12 GUIDELINES FOR ALL LAND TRUSTS
Standard 1: Ethics, Mission and Community Engagement – Land trusts maintain high ethical standards and have a mission committed to conservation, community service and public benefit.
Standard 2: Compliance with Laws – Land trusts fulfill their legal requirements as nonprofit tax-exempt organizations and comply with all laws.
Standard 3: Board Accountability – Land trust boards act ethically in conducting the affairs of the organization and carry out their legal and financial responsibilities as required by law.
Standard 4: Conflicts of Interest – Land trusts have policies and procedures to avoid or manage real or perceived conflicts of interest.
Standard 5: Fundraising – Land trusts conduct fundraising activities in a lawful, ethical and responsible manner.
Standard 6: Financial Oversight – Land trusts are responsible and accountable for how they manage their finances and assets.
Standard 7: Human Resources – Land trusts have sufficient skilled personnel to carry out their programs, whether volunteers, staff and/or consultants/contractors.
Standard 8: Evaluating and Selecting Conservation Projects – Land trusts carefully evaluate and select their conservation projects.
Standard 9: Ensuring Sound Transactions – Land trusts work diligently to see that every land and conservation easement transaction is legally, ethically and technically sound.
Standard 10: Tax Benefits and Appraisals – Land trusts work diligently to see that every charitable gift of land or conservation easement meets federal and state tax law requirements, to avoid fraudulent or abusive transactions and to uphold public confidence in land conservation.
Standard 11: Conservation Easement Stewardship – Land trusts have a program of responsible stewardship for their conservation easements.
Standard 12: Fee Land Stewardship – Land trusts have a program of responsible stewardship for the land held in fee for conservation purposes.