Mississippi Valley Conservancy has been recognized for its conservation leadership through the following achievement awards:
- La Crosse County Conservation Alliance - Conservation Organization of the Year 2016
- ClearMark Award of Distinction 2013
- Communicator Award of Distinction 2013
- National Land Trust Accreditation 2012
- Friend of Conservation - Outstanding Organization - WI 2009
- Conservation Organization of the Year - La Crosse County 2008
- Land Trust of the Year - WI 2008
In February 2012, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, announced that Mississippi Valley Conservancy had been awarded accredited status.
“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land.”
“Mississippi Valley Conservancy’s accredited status demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation,” says past board president George Kerckhove. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the accreditation program.”
“Achieving accreditation was a lengthy and rigorous process, but we are glad we undertook the journey,” said Tim Jacobson. “It was very helpful to have national land trust experts provide an outside perspective in scrutinizing numerous aspects of our policies and operations. We felt that we owed it to the landowners we work with and our other supporters to go through this process.”
The achievements of Mississippi Valley Conservancy are further exemplified by the state’s Land Trust of the Year award in 2008. MVC was recognized for its work in conserving more than 3,000 acres of western Wisconsin land in 2007, along with many other accomplishments in preceding years.
The award is made annually by Gathering Waters Conservancy, the statewide group that supports more than 50 Wisconsin land trusts. Ralph Heath, MVC president at the time, said the award was a tribute to the MVC’s many partners, a highly motivated and competent staff and a dedicated and generous membership.
Nominators cited MVC’s accomplishments such as more than 7,000 acres in its seven-county area which had been protected by conservation easements or purchases at that time. With support from nearly one thousand members, the conservancy built a staff of six plus interns and dozens of volunteers to carry out its programs of land acquisitions and easements from willing landowners, land restoration, and communications including Linked to the Land hikes and innovative educational video podcasts on its website. [As of 2013, MVC has more than 15,000 acres under permanent protection (more than $46 million worth of land) and has more than 1,500 contributing members.]
MVC was also praised for building partnerships with agencies, private organizations and municipalities. Karen Blodgett, community services specialist with Wisconsin DNR, cited MVC’s partnership with the City of La Crosse in which MVC had leveraged some $1.4 million in city funds to protect almost 900 acres valued at about $4 million in the blufflands above the city.
In early 2009, MVC was recognized by the Wisconsin Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society as "Friend of Conservation - Outstanding Organization."
Within a three-week span in early 2013, Mississippi Valley Conservancy, along with NewGround, Inc., garnered both a national and an international award for communication excellence. The Center for Plain Language conferred a ClearMark Award of Distinction upon MVC and NewGround in a ceremony held at The National Press Club in Washington DC. Shortly thereafter, the International Academy of Visual Arts recognized NewGround and the Conservancy with a Communicator Award of Distinction for MVC’s 15th anniversary magazine, entitled “Conserved.” MVC and NewGround competed with much larger groups from around the country and the world. The Communicator Awards is the leading international awards program recognizing big ideas in marketing and communications. Founded nearly two decades ago, The Communicator Awards receives over 6,000 entries from companies and agencies of all sizes, making it one of the largest awards of its kind in the world. According to the International Academy of Visual Arts, the “Communicator Awards honors work that transcends innovation and craft--work that made a lasting impact. The Award of Distinction is presented for projects that exceed industry standards in quality and achievement.”
MVC's former executive director, Tim Jacobson, said, "We are very pleased to receive recognition from conservation professionals around the state and nationally. We must give credit to the wonderful landowners who work with us to conserve their precious properties for the benefit of people today and countless future generations. They are true conservation heroes, and we are indebted to them for their leadership and generosity. These landowners are the living embodiment of the land ethic that Aldo Leopold wrote about in the Wisconsin classic, A Sand County Almanac."