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Celebrating Land Trust Accreditation Renewal

One thing that unites us as a nation is land: We strongly support saving the natural spaces that we love. Since 2006 South Jersey Land & Water Trust (SJLWT) and it's supporters and members have been doing just that for the people of Southern New Jersey. Now SJLWT announces it has renewed its land trust accreditation - proving once again that, as part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to conservation excellence.

"Renewing our accreditation shows SJLWT's ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in New Jersey," said Christine Nolan, Executive Director. "We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means special places all over our region will be protected forever, making New Jersey an even greater place for now and in the future."

SJLWT provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation before achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that SJLWT's lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward over 20 million acres - the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode

Island combined.

"We are proud to recognize SJLWT's continued commitment to conservation excellence," said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. "The accreditation seal is a mark of distinction that stands for excellence, trust and permanence. South Jersey Land & Water Trust is part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts that are united by their strong ethical practices. Accredited land trusts inspire confidence and respect among their peers and in their communities."

SJLWT is one of 1,281 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

At South Jersey Land & Water Trust we have four main areas of impact: Land Conservation, Water Protection, Education, and Advocacy.

Land Conservation-South Jersey Land & Water Trust works with municipalities to preserve open space, which can be used as parks, playgrounds and protected habitats for threatened species. We also work to preserve farmland to prevent it from being developed into subdivisions and to provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife to live and hunt.

Water Protection-To help keep our streams clean and pristine we work on restoring stream banks to their natural state, testing water quality using state of the art technology to monitor the stream's health, surveying vernal pools which are essential habitats for many endangered species, building rain gardens to ease water run-off and provide home to native plants and animals, and labeling storm drains so we can all understand where our water goes.

Education-The more that people know about their environment, the more they can do to protect it. SJLWT provides nature walks, workshops, and certifications to schools and native plant gardens, and presents to classrooms and workplaces. We strive to be a source that the community can look to in order to become enriched, engaged, and confident in what they can do in their neighborhood.

Advocacy-The SJLWT often advocates for legislation that is beneficial to the natural environment, and against legislation that is detrimental to it. With all the development in our area we work together to make sure there are natural spaces for both humans and wildlife to survive. SJLWT advocates with our New Jersey environmental nonprofit partners to promote public policies and practices that will protect the environment and its inhabitants. This may involve public education and outreach as well as submission of public statements through written or verbal testimony to legislative and policy making agencies. 

All of our work is possible thanks to the support from our members, volunteers, and supporters just like yourself. We cannot thank you enough for your belief in our mission. This reaccreditation demonstrates that we take our work very seriously and strive to be the best that we can.

About 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 quality 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

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Stakeholder Notification of Public Comment

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. South Jersey Lan


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