Missourians strongly support protecting the open spaces they love. Since 1966, the Missouri Prairie Foundation has been doing just that for the people of Missouri. With its 25 properties across the state, which are open to the public to enjoy, the Missouri Prairie Foundation is protecting extremely biologically diverse and rare original, unplowed prairie, which is one of the most imperiled ecosystems on the planet, as well as expanding prairie habitat with native grassland plantings.
Today, the Land Trust Alliance announced that the Missouri Prairie Foundation has achieved national accreditation—joining a network of accredited land trusts across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work. There are currently 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census, and more than 400 of them are accredited.
“The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s sound operations have provided a solid framework for our critically important conservation work over our 55-year history,” said Missouri Prairie Foundation Board President David Young. “By achieving national accreditation, MPF signals to the land trust community throughout the country that its prairie protection work and operations comply with national standards.”
“We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program,” said Carol Davit, the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s executive director. “Our strength means that special, biologically rich places, such as MPF’s Golden Prairie, which is a National Natural Landmark, and MPF’s Penn-Sylvania Prairie, which has broken a world record for plant species richness, will be protected forever.”
The Missouri Prairie Foundation provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land—the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades, and Yosemite National Parks combined.
“It is exciting to recognize the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s commitment to national standards by achieving this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country, which are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.” A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About the Missouri Prairie Foundation
The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 55-year-old land trust that protects and restores prairie and other native grasslands through land acquisition, management, education, and prairie research. The organization owns 25 properties totaling more than 3,700 acres of prairie across the state, and with partners, inspires the conservation of thousands more. The Missouri Prairie Foundation is also home to the Grow Native! native plant education and marketing program and administers the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force. Learn more at http://www.moprairie.org and http://www.grownative.org.
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 Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit http://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 need and love by strengthening land conservation across America. The Alliance represents 1,000 member land trusts supported by more than 200,000 volunteers and 4.6 million members nationwide. The Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and operates several regional offices. Learn more at http://www.landtrustalliance.org.