An Island land trust is seeking public comment as part of its first accreditation process.
Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is applying this year for accreditation from the The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a lengthy process involving information gathering and documentation.
Executive director Adam Moore said accreditation from the group will mean the development of more formal procedures and better record-keeping.
“It will require us to operate according to the best standards and it will provide assurance to the public that we are operating to the best standards,” Mr. Moore said.
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission is an independent group created by the Land Trust Alliance, a national conservation organization. Accreditation, if granted, will be renewed upon review every five years.
There are more than 1,700 land trusts nationwide, according to the Alliance website.
On the Island, the Nature Conservancy and the Trustees of Reservations have already received accreditation.
Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation runs an operating budget of $800,000 per year, and has five employees plus some interns. The foundation owns 2,000 acres of conservation land and manages 850 additional acres with conservation restrictions. This includes 18 major properties which feature trail networks.
The most recent trail network was cut at Manaca Hill, near Chappy Point on Chappaquiddick.
The trust was founded by Henry Beetle Hough and Elizabeth Bowie Hough in April of 1959, after Mr. Hough, former editor of the Gazette, got word that the land near his home would soon be developed.
The founding property, Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary, occupies nearly 20 acres off Planting Field Way in Edgartown. A recent makeover to the property uncovered footings for an icehouse that accompanied the Old Ice Pond at the center of the sanctuary.
To submit a comment as part of the trust’s accreditation process, visit landtrustaccreditation.org or email your comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can mail comments to Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments, 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
Sheriff’s Meadow will investigate any comment they receive, Mr. Moore said.
A full guide to the Sheriff’s Meadow properties can be found at their website, sheriffsmeadow.org.