Philander Chase Conservancy Earns National Recognition

Accreditation of the only land trust created by a college or university in the United States demonstrates high standards for land conservation.

By David Hoyt ’14

Philander Chase Conservancy has received national accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Land trust accreditation is a mark of distinction, showing that a land trust meets high standards for land conservation and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in their work.

“It is exciting to recognize Philander Chase Conservancy with this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust that accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship and defense of easements.”

Philander Chase Conservancy was created in 2000 with a mission “to protect the natural beauty of the farms, woodlands, waters and open spaces surrounding Kenyon College and to preserve the rural character of the region at large.” Together with conservation-minded landowners, the Conservancy to date has permanently protected 66 properties totaling almost 5,700 acres. 

“Accreditation demonstrates Philander Chase Conservancy’s commitment to permanent conservation of the beautiful and productive lands surrounding Kenyon College,” said Lisa Schott, managing director. “We are a stronger organization for having gone through the rigorous accreditation program. Our strength means special places – such as the old Hall family farm and the Brown Family Environmental Center – will be protected forever, making Knox County an even greater place for us and our children.”

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission seal offers the assurance that a land trust can keep the promise of perpetuity and that it is worthy of the public trust. Accreditation is a mark of distinction, received only by land trusts that have successfully implemented Land Trust Standards and Practices. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land — the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades and Yosemite National Parks combined.

Philander Chase Conservancy 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 Philander Chase Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever.