The town of Tiverton, RI Comprehensive Plan of 1997 included guidelines for policies concerning the preservation and conservation of the natural and cultural characteristics of the town. In the same year a small group of Tiverton citizens met informally, discussed those guidelines, and used them to create the Tiverton Land Trust as a nonprofit organization that would produce the necessary plans, goals, and objectives to preserve the rural character and scenic beauty of Tiverton.
To date, the TLT has protected 475 acres of woods, farmlands, and open spaces. Our most recent acquisition is Highland Woods, a sixteen acre parcel adjacent to the Fort Barton Redoubt and Fort Barton Woods.
In 2005 the Land Trust began to lay the groundwork for accreditation when it voted to adopt the land trust standards and practices set up by the Land Trust Association (LTA), the national organization of land trusts. In June, 2012 the TLT began the formal process of obtaining accreditation. In April, 2013 the TLT submitted the completed accreditation application to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
The TLT was awarded accreditation this February and is one of only 254 land trusts from across the country that are currently accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
According to the LTA, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
“The TLT is proud to display the accreditation seal as it is a reflection of the work we have accomplished. It exemplifies the very best in land trust practices,” said Connie Lima. Added Mike Shand, “It took a lot of work by a lot of people. It’s made us all very proud of our accomplishment and is an important milestone for the TLT.”
Accreditation Committee Members of the Tiverton Land Trust with their successful application (from left):
Sue Thayer-Kramers, Mike Shand (Chair), Connie Lima, Wayne Browning, Holly Lippert, Roger Gauthier, Trish Sylvester.