“Achieving Accreditation will show our partners and potential supporters that we meet national standards for protecting land and will make us one of only five Accredited land trusts in the state – and the only one with a statewide focus,” says Jim Gooch, Executive Director of the Connecticut Farmland Trust. “CFT is a very efficient and effective organization. For every dollar raised, we leverage 34 dollars in conservation and our administrative costs are only 13% of our budget. But having the wherewithal to steward this land and keep our promises forever means more than being good right now - it requires a strong foundation built on best practices.”
Land trusts are non-profit institutions with specific missions – just like a museum, a hospital or a university. Over the years, each of those groups has developed independent, nationally-recognized standards. Meeting those standards helps to encourage public trust and investor confidence. Unlike those kinds of organizations, however, the modern land trust is a young concept; most are less than forty years old. The Connecticut Farmland Trust is only ten.
“CFT’s task is especially challenging,”
The Commission, an independent body created by the Land Trust Alliance, evaluates conservation non-profits according to a list of 12 Standards and 88 Practices representing a consensus on what it takes to operate a professional, ethical and credible land trust. These include financial practices, minimum standards for easement drafting and stewardship, and policies governing conflicts of interest and avoidance of private benefit.
There are over 120 land trusts in Connecticut;
“We expect a decision on our application by late spring,” said Nick Moore, CFT’s Board President. “Right now our biggest challenge is to increase the amount of money we have on hand for stewardship and easement defense to meet LTA’s recommendations within the next five years. Other than that, the structure and policies of CFT are solid, down-the-line. We’re very optimistic.”
About the Connecticut Farmland Trust
Founded in 2002, The Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) is the only private statewide conservation organization that protects Connecticut’