Preserving the lands and waters you love!

Trust & Transparency

"As a small land trust, our commitment to openness in all our endeavors is paramount. By being transparent, we ensure that our supporters and the communities we serve are informed about our mission, goals, and the impact of our conservation efforts."

~ Pete Fullerton, Board Treasurer

Northern Waters Land Trust

Formerly the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation

Preserving Land to Protect Water in Northern Minnesota

501(c)3 Non-Profit Charitable Organization | Accredited Land Trust

Tax EIN: 41-1887906

Our Financials

Playing in the sand

IRS Form 990

FY 2022        FY 2021

FY 2020        FY 2019

FY 2018

Fall channel_Annie Photographer

Financial Audit

FY 2022     FY 2021

FY 2020

Sunset on Mississippi

Name Change

Formerly the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation, the name was changed in 2018 to Northern Waters Land Trust.

Third Party Ratings

Four-Star Rating Badge - Full Color

Northern Waters Land Trust has been evaluated by Charity Navigator and earned a Four-Star Rating!         The highest possible rating on Charity Navigator.

Charity Navigator’s third-party accreditation validates Northern Waters Land Trust's operational excellence with a score of 96%.

Your trust and support helps us make a difference for the region and communities we serve.

You can learn more about Charity Navigator and our rating here:


Northern Waters Land Trust has been awarded the Gold Seal of Transparency by Candid, a recognition that reflects our unwavering commitment to openness, accountability, and effective communication in sharing information about our mission, programs, and impact.

We invite our supporters to explore the details of our organization on Candid's platform:

Thank you for being part of our journey towards positive change as we continue our commitment to responsible stewardship of our natural resources.

Our Commitment to Transparency


At Northern Waters Land Trust, we believe that transparency is the cornerstone of building trust and fostering strong relationships with our community.

We strive to be open, sharing our decision-making processes, financial information, and project outcomes, as we believe that an informed and engaged community is essential for the success of our conservation efforts.

Together, we can continue to protect and preserve the beauty of our northern waters for generations to come.

Dog on Dock_Lake_Photographer Annie Knight



Northern Waters Land Trust completed the rigorous review process and became accredited by the Land Trust Alliance in 2019.

Accreditation means that this land trust abides by the Land Trust Standards and Practices and operates in an ethical, legal and technically sound manner.

The process strengthens land trusts so they can help landowners and communities achieve their conservation goals. Each accredited land trust must apply for renewal every five years and undergoes a comprehensive review as part of its renewal application.