Winnakee Land Trust Announces Reaccreditation

Winnakee Land Trust is proud to announce reaccreditation by the LTA

Rhinebeck, NY (February 22, 2017) – At a time of political change, one thing is clear and consistent: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1989, Winnakee Land Trust, has been doing just that for the people of northern Dutchess County. And, since 2011, it has been doing so as an accredited land trust. Today Winnakee Land Trust is proud to announce their reaccreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and to welcome an additional 15 land trusts into the growing network of accredited land trusts across the nation that have proven their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“Re-accreditation demonstrates Winnakee Land Trust’s commitment to permanent land conservation in northern Dutchess County,” said Carl Meyer, President of Winnakee Board. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means more farmland, viewsheds, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and undisturbed natural areas will be protected forever, making the Mid-Hudson Valley an even greater place for us and our children.”

Winnakee Executive Director Gregg Swanzey provided extensive documentation and a comprehensive review as part of the accreditation renewal application. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that Winnakee Land Trust’s lands will be protected in perpetuity.

As an accredited land trust, Winnakee protects over 2500 acres of local farmland and natural habitats from development and are working to permanently secure many more. Winnakee provides public recreational opportunities at Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill in Rhinebeck and Winnakee Nature Preserve and Arboretum in Hyde Park. Through the years, we have established miles of regional public access trails and are working to expand this effort with a trail feasibility study currently in progress.

“Winnakee is proud that our work is being recognized by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Balancing land protection with appropriate development will ensure that our communities continue to have all the resources they need for generations to come.” said Gregg Swanzey, Executive Director. “We are pleased and fortunate for the funds donated by Gail Hunt Reeke and Dr. George Reeke through the Hunt Family Foundation in April of 2016 to cover the Winnakee Land Trust Accreditation Renewal fee in memory of her sister, Lucinda (Cindy) Hunt Stowell former Land Trust Accreditation Commissioner and staunch advocate of land preservation.”

“Accredited land trusts such as Winnakee are united behind strong ethical standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. “This network of land trusts has demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

Winnakee Land Trust is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the most recent National Land Trust Census, released Dec. 1 by the Land Trust Alliance. Almost 20 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas vital to healthy communities are now permanently conserved by an accredited land trust.

A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits are detailed at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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