Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) representatives announced Wednesday that they have formally submitted an application for accreditation, “completing an almost three-year process that was rigorous and demanding, but designed to improve BTLT in every aspect of its operations,” a BTLT release states.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission will review the application. The commission is an affiliate of the Land Trust Alliance, the umbrella group for the nation’s some 1,700 land trusts. BTLT expects a decision on its application next summer.

“We had to prove that BTLT conducts its business in accordance with national standards. It took about 4,000 pages and three USB memory drives to provide the necessary information and documentation,” BTLT associate director Caroline Eliot said in the release.

“This organization collectively breathed a huge sigh of relief when we delivered our 44-pound box of documents to UPS in mid-November,” BTLT executive director Angela Twitchell said in the release. “It was a lot of work, but we are already seeing the benefits.”

The accreditation process requires a land trust to evaluate every aspect of its operations against nationally adopted best practices. To date, 135 land trusts nationwide have been accredited, including three of Maine’s approximately 100 land trusts.

The BTLT began accreditation application preparations in February 2009.

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