OSPREY, FL (June 11, 2014) Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast has been selected to participate in the Land Trust Excellence Program sponsored by the Land Trust Alliance. The Excellence Program provides intensive, multi-year investment to help increase conservation impact and operational performance proficiencies in select land trusts. Only 25 land trusts were invited to partake in this opportunity. “Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is thrilled to be identified as a high-potential land trust,” notes Ann Charters, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Participating in the Excellence Program puts us on the fast track, moving us from good to great. It gives us the boost we need to increase our impact, preserving and protecting land along Florida’s Gulf Coast.”
Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance, made his first visit to Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to speak to trustees, advisors and donors. Wentworth noted the changing landscape of land trusts, and commended Conservation Foundation for its accomplishments to date. Just ten years old, Conservation Foundation has protected nearly 8,600 acres representing 31 properties across four counties – Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee.
The Excellence Program strives to accelerate the pace, improve the quality and ensure the permanence of land conservation. It does this through financial investment and two years of education for the board of trustees and executive director. Conservation Foundation is utilizing the funding to update their strategic plan and create their first ever conservation plan, organizational plan and fundraising plan. Conservation Foundation is in the midst of conducting listening sessions with key stakeholders to inform these plans.
The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, they increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, they enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, they ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices. Visit www.landtrustalliance.org for more information.
Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is a nationally accredited land trust working with landowners, businesses, and government to protect the beauty and natural integrity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Foundation purchases natural areas, holds conservation agreements and educates for responsible stewardship. Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast also works with Sarasota County’s acclaimed environmentally sensitive lands program and their neighborhood parks program. Learn more at www.conservationfoundation.com.