LSLT Seeks Reaccreditation

SNOW HILL – A local nonprofit is seeking the community’s help as it applies for reaccreditation.

In 2017, Lower Shore Land Trust received national accreditation from the Land Trust Commission. Now, the nonprofit is seeking reaccreditation and encouraging community members to provide public comments.

“The public comment period is a way that the commission can hear from the community in which the land trust works,” said Lower Shore Land Trust Executive Director Kate Patton. “They are interested in learning about the impact the organization has in protecting land.”

The voluntary land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs.

“The process for applying to accreditation and reviewing our policies and processes actually strengthened the board and how we operate,” Patton said. “It gave our board more confidence in our work and positioned the organization to be proactive about our land conservation work.”

Land trusts are required to renew their accreditation every five years. The process, Patton said, ensures that policies and procedures are keeping up with the growing organization.

“A lot can happen between renewal,” she explained. “For example, there can be a change of leadership and staff. For LSLT, after COVID hit and pushed our organization to work mostly remotely, we had to pivot like so many other organizations and businesses. This meant we were holding meetings virtually and voting on land transactions and we had to make updates to how we operated. The renewal will look at how we made those changes, and this ensures that our transactions are secure, and we can forever defend the conservation values of our easements.”

A public comment period for Lower Shore Land Trust’s reaccreditation process is now open. The commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications.

“The accreditation seal shows landowners, donors, community members and other stakeholders that the land trust has gone through a rigorous application process and can be entrusted with managing conservation easement properties and donations,” Patton said.

Comments must relate to how Lower Shore Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. A full list of standards can be found on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission’s website.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to [email protected]. Comments may also be mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments, 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. 12866.

“The public comment period coincides with the application review period,” Patton said. “Once the commission reviews the application and gathers comments and any supporting information, they will determine whether to renew accreditation.”

Comments on Lower Shore Land Trust’s application will be most useful by March 31, 2023. For more information about Lower Shore Land Trust, visit or call 443-234-5587.

“Lower Shore Land Trust is one of several Maryland land trusts which are accredited,” Patton said. “The certification launched in 2008 and represents the commitment of the land trust community across the country to ensure conservation lands are viable for today and for future generations.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.