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For Immediate Release:

Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art
  Earns Continued National Recognition

Renewed Accreditation Awarded
  by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Chadds Ford, PA - February 26, 2014 - Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

Founded in 1967 as a land trust, four years later the Brandywine Conservancy opened the Brandywine River Museum in the renovated Hoffman s Mill, a former gristmill that was part of the Conservancy s first preservation efforts. Brandywine Conservancy, Inc. updated the naming of its parent organization and its two programs in early February. The parent organization became the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art. The environmental program, formerly known as the Environmental Management Center, is now known as the Brandywine Conservancy.

"Accreditation helps our organization stay on top of trends in practices and procedures and makes the Brandywine Conservancy a stronger organization" said Sherri Evans-Stanton, Director of the Brandywine Conservancy. In addition to the many environmental accomplishments, the parent organization, Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art celebrates the interconnection between art and the environment.

"Accreditation is an important touchstone for the land trust community. In establishing the highest standards and practices that best accomplish our shared conservation goals, we have also created an important symbol that assures the public of the integrity of our actions" said Virginia A. Logan, Executive Director of the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art.

The mission of the Brandywine Conservancy is to conserve the natural and cultural resources of the Brandywine watershed and other selected areas with a primary emphasis on water quality and quantity. It has permanently protected from development more than 59,000 acres in Chester and Delaware counties in Pennsylvania, as well as New Castle County in Delaware. The Conservancy holds more than 440 conservation easements and owns more than 2,100 acres of land.

The Brandywine Conservancy assisted with the founding of the Land Trust Alliance. It is fitting that they were among the first to be accredited and now awarded renewed accreditation. To date, Brandywine is one of only 254 land trusts from across the country that are now 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.

"The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 254 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust," said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. "Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality."

Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. "Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements," said Van Ryn. "Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent."

"The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art is proud to display the accreditation seal and to be a part of this wonderful land trust community," said Evans-Stanton.

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that 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 from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission's website.

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Hillary K. Holland, 610-388-8336

Laurels Preserve credit Chuck Bowers

Farmland Preservation, credit the Brandywine Conservancy

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