One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1978, Bur Oak Land Trust (formerly Johnson County Heritage Trust) has been doing just that for the people of eastern Iowa. Now Bur Oak Land Trust announces it has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
“Bur Oak Land Trust’s accreditation renewal shows our ongoing commitment to land conservation in perpetuity in our community,” said Executive Director Tammy Wright. “We are committed to the standards set forth by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in their rigorous accreditation renewal process. This commitment means that special places like Belgum Grove and Big Grove Preserve will be protected forever, making our community an even greater place for us and our children.
Bur Oak Land Trust provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that Bur Oak Land Trust’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward approximately 20 million acres – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.
The Trust has made significant strides in land conservation, including completing a capital campaign to purchase 40 acres adjacent to Big Grove Preserve, making Big Grove Preserve’s conserved area 80 acres. We also hold free Family Day events at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and Belgum Grove, and free Music on the Prairie concerts at Belgum Grove. Our properties are open for the public to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, bird watching, photography, mushroom hunting, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and berry picking.
“It is exciting to recognize Bur Oak Land Trust’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
Bur Oak Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.