KELT Accepted into the Maine Excellence Program

3 year support to prepare for national accreditation

November 30, 2009

Administrative Coordinator Anne Reiter and board member Pam Tetley attack property files in prepartion for accreditation

BATH- The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust (KELT) was recently selected as one of six participants in the Maine Excellence Program.

This grant-based program, valued at up to $18,000 over three years, is made possible through the Maine Land Trust Excellence Program, a partnership project between Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Land Trust Alliance with support from private donors and The Pew Charitable Trusts. It supports trainings and consulting designed to increase the operational quality and sustainability of Maine land trusts as they prepare to apply for national accreditation through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

Preparing for accreditation affords land trusts the opportunity to implement policies that will help streamline operations and lead to more effective land conservation. The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation. It recognizes organizations for meeting national standards for excellence, upholding the public trust and ensuring that conservation efforts are permanent.

To date, 78 land trusts across the country have achieved accreditation since the program started in 2007, including two of Maine’s 99 land trusts.

In their application, KELT wrote “Our vision is to be the regional leader among small to medium land trusts. Whether in land protection, stewardship, education or training, we believe people of every age have a role in conservation and appreciation of the special places that exist all around us. We are moving forward to build and sustain capacity to realize our conservation goals to proactively advance the pace, scope and quality of land protection in and around the Kennebec Estuary.”

Tom Barrington, a founder of the organization and current board member, has agreed to serve at Project Manager of the accreditation process. Mr. Barrington has extensive project management experience from his career as an engineer with Bath Iron Works.

Using conservation easements, property donations and fee purchases, KELT has protected 1,738 acres of natural habitat. In collaboration with private land owners, conservation groups, and government agencies, KELT has helped to protect close to 15,000 acres in the Kennebec Estuary.

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is a membership supported non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of the natural, historic, scenic, cultural and recreational resources of the Kennebec Estuary. 

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Land Trust Accreditation Commission: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/home