Ask your local candidate a question.

Monday, June 24, 2024

RVC, Our Local Land Trust, Earns National Recognition

PRESS RELEASE: RVC gets recognized for a strong commitment to public trust and conservation excellence

One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1993, Ridge and Valley Conservancy (RVC) has been doing just that for the people of Sussex and Warren counties.

Now RVC is announcing that it has renewed its accreditation as a land trust—demonstrating once again that, as part of a network of more than 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

Ridge and Valley Conservancy provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving the distinction of renewed accreditation.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded the renewal, signifying its confidence that Ridge and Valley Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts across the nation now steward almost 20 million acres—more than 3.5 times the size of New Jersey.

“Renewing our accreditation shows RVC’s ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in the Ridge and Valley region of New Jersey,” said Executive Director Susi Tilley. “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process.

RVC’s strength means that special places—such as our Muckshaw Ponds, Dark Moon, and Blair Creek preserves—will be protected forever, making Sussex and Warren counties an even greater place for us and our children.”

Ridge and Valley Conservancy is a local land trust whose focus area is the Ridge and Valley Physiographic Province of New Jersey. This includes a section of the ancient, folded mountains commonly known as the Appalachians and the Limestone Valley associated with them.

In New Jersey, this Province covers much of Sussex and Warren counties. The Conservancy prioritizes protection of the highly diverse forests growing on the limestone that occurs only in this part of the state, and of connections between preserved lands in our area.

“It is exciting to recognize Ridge and Valley’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 450 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

Ridge and Valley Conservancy is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States, according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the accreditation process and benefits can be found at

About Ridge and Valley Conservancy

Turning 30 years old in 2022, Ridge and Valley Conservancy is a membership organization that works with local stakeholders to preserve important open space in northwestern New Jersey. It has an excellent track record in our area, currently responsible for stewarding 2619 acres in Sussex and Warren counties and for preserving many more through a variety of methods such as conservation easements.

RVC is transitioning from an all-volunteer land trust by adding key paid staff members. Susi Tilly, a 24-year Warren County resident, assumed the role of Executive Director in 2019, and Lynda Tower, a Sussex County native, has just started as Director of
Outreach and Development. Alison Severino serves as Stewardship Coordinator.

The organization has just relocated its office to Newton, NJ, after 30 years in Blairstown, and anticipates that immersion in a different part of the region will bring more preservation partners into RVC’s orbit. Ridge and Valley Conservancy hosts programming for landowners interested in conservation and ecological stewardship, and also offers monthly hikes and other workshops. Information about membership and activities is provided on RVC’s website:

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.

For more, visit