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Philander Chase Conservancy Earns National Recognition

GAMBIER, Ohio — 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. ### About Kenyon College: Founded in 1824, Kenyon is the oldest private college in Ohio and the first institution in the U.S. to implement the model of faculty members serving as academic advisors. With a curriculum rooted in the liberal arts, Kenyon students and faculty aspire to a nuanced understanding of the world and all who inhabit it. Kenyon is a top producer of Fulbright Fellows and ranks second among Division III institutions for fostering NCAA Postgraduate Scholars. Home to the Kenyon Review, one of the nation’s most esteemed literary magazines, Kenyon celebrates a rich literary tradition that promotes writing across academic disciplines. 

About Philander Chase ConservancyPhilander Chase Conservancy works to conserve open space and important natural habitats in a five-mile radius surrounding Kenyon College. The conservancy works with farmers, landowners, environmental groups and government agencies to ensure the rural character of the surrounding area is maintained. Kenyon is the only college or university in the country to establish its own land trust. In the mid-1980s, the area immediately surrounding the College was under threat by commercial and residential growth. In response, the College purchased property across from the entrance to the College and established a nature preserve along the Kokosing River. That area became the Brown Family Environmental Center in 1995. The College formed the Philander Chase Conservancy in 2000 in anticipation of a greater need to protect the farmland and rural nature of the surrounding area. 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. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at

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