Reflecting on ten years of agricultural conservation
By Samuel James Adams
Members of the Solano Land Trust team are reflecting upon and compiling the work of the past decade as the organization prepares to renew its accreditation through the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
The Commission, which previously accredited Solano Land Trust in 2013, certifies organizations that meet the “highest national standards for excellence and conservation permanence.”
Located in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Accreditation Commission is an independent program of The Land Trust Alliance.
Just as our Land Trust protects a quilt of conservations across Solano County, the collective work of other Land Trusts makes sure scenic, productive, and inspiring agricultural open space spans the country.
By compiling data on all accredited Land Trusts in their “Find a Land Trust” feature, the Land Trust Alliance makes a one-stop site to learn about agricultural conservation and natural resources, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities nationwide. Reading around the site is a great way to understand the work you support in a national context.
“Accreditation underscores to our partners and the community our pledge to maintain the highest ethical and technical standards in land conservation,” says Nicole Braddock, Solano Land Trust’s Executive Director.
To make sure Land Trusts are operated with the integrity needed to fulfill their missions, the accrediting agency examines four categories—governance, finance, transactions, and stewardship—by focusing on elements of high risk.
The accreditation is a crucial way to show our integrity in the field, and it is vital for securing grants and other funding to restore habitat, provide needed mitigation opportunities, and create recreation and learning opportunities on open land. Accreditation assures our supporters that we have the ways and means to protect important natural places and working lands.
The process has been a helpful occasion to review some key achievements since the previous accreditation.
• Solano Land Trust has acquired nine new conservation easements protecting over 4,900 acres.
• The acquisition of the Souza Property, adjacent to our Lynch Canyon Open Space holding, increased the size of the park.
• The construction of a Culvert at Lower Spring Branch Creek improved the connection between Suisun Marsh and the uplands.
• Rockville Hills Preserve was renamed Patwino Worrtla Kodoi Dihi Open Space Park and a renovated entrance, parking lot, and accessible “All-People’s Trail” were constructed at the property.
• Outreach programs and special on-the-land, docent-led events have engaged new community interest in land conservation and helped foster greater inclusivity in our work.
If you care to add your thoughts on our work, The Land Trust Accreditation is accepting comments on specific land trusts through their website and by emailing email@example.com. Comments must be received before 11/18/2023.
Photographs by Tracy Ellison, Jennifer Leonard, and Nicole Braddock