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French Broad River Photo by Adam Rice
Photo by Adam Rice | Flickr

RiverLink Earns National Recognition As An Accredited Land Trust

Accreditation Promotes Public Trust, Ensures Permanence

RiverLink, a regional non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad RiverWatershed, today announced it has achieved accreditation — a mark of honor in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that RiverLink lands will be protected forever.

Accredited land trusts across the country have permanently conserved more than 15 million acres of farms, forests and natural areas that are vital to healthy, vibrant communities.

“Accreditation demonstrates RiverLink’s commitment to permanent land conservation in the French Broad River Watershed,” said Executive Director Karen Cragnolin. “We’re a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program and this strength will help make WNC an even better place to live, learn, work and play.”

Since 2002, RiverLink has been working with private landowners to permanently protect water resources and quality of life throughout the French Broad River Watershed. RiverLink conserves springs, wetlands, riparian areas, steep slopes, and public access to rivers and parks. RiverLink also works to protect smaller parcels throughout the watershed that other land trusts might deem too small to include in their land protection program. The organization currently holds 115 acres in conservation.

RiverLink was among 37 land trusts across the United States to achieve accreditation or to have accreditation renewed in February. RiverLink joins the 342 land trusts that demonstrate their commitment to professional excellence through accreditation, helping to maintain the public’s trust in their work.

“It is exciting to recognize RiverLink with this distinction,” said Tammara Van Ryn, executive director of the Commission. “Together, accredited land trusts stand united behind strong national standards ensuring the places people love will be conserved forever. In all, over 75 percent of private lands conserved by land trusts are now held by an accredited land trusts.”

Each accredited land trust meets extensive documentation requirements and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its accreditation application. The process is rigorous and strengthens land trusts with systems that help landowners and communities achieve their goals. More information about land trust accreditation can be found at www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

The Commission is an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, a national land conservation organization working to save the places people need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. More information about the many benefits of land conservation is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

About RiverLink
RiverLink is a regional non-profit promoting the environmental and economic wellbeing of the French Broad River and its watershed as a place to live, learn, work, and play.wa
RiverLink’s vision is to represent past, present, and future voices of the French Broad River to insure a vital, healthy watershed now and forever through: conservation of land and water resources; improved water quality; expanded education and community awareness; enhanced recreation activities; continued sustainable economic development; implementation of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan.

RiverLink was established in 1987 and is the only non-profit exclusively focused on the French Broad River Watershed.<

About the 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 RiverLink Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

About the Land Trust Alliance
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance is a national land conservation organization that works to save the places people love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents more than 1,100 member land trusts supported by more than 100,000 volunteers and 5 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C. and operates several regional offices. More information about the Alliance is available at www.landtrustalliance.org.

About River Link

RiverLink is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a destination for everyone to work, live and play.

RiverLink accomplishes its mission by providing permanent public access to the river through conservation and recreation easements, reclaiming contaminated lands for public use and enjoyment, greenway development, creating public no-fee, no-reservation overnight camping sites along the river, adaptive reuse of historic structures, educating 5,000 students K-12 annually as well as the public-at-large about the French Broad River watersheds’ importance and empowering over 1,700 volunteers each year.

RiverLink was established in 1987 and is the only French Broad River watershed non-profit exclusively focused on the French Broad River.

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