Strategic PlanSetting Our Course
The Purpose of the Strategic Plan is to provide a perpetual ‘Road Map’ to guide the planning and activities to be carried out by the Balsam Mountain Trust (BMT) during the 2017-2020 time frame. The following key points were used in creating the map:
The Balsam Mountain Trust inspires people to be responsible stewards of the natural and cultural resources of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains through education and conservation leadership.
- Enhance our position as a key environmental education partner with schools, community and government organizations, reaching diverse audiences and inspiring lifelong stewardship of the natural world.
- Establish BMT as a regional field research site, partnering with universities, regional biological stations and other similar organizations to expand research opportunities in western NC.
- Embrace and practice sustainability in all operations and facilities, serving as a leader for the BMP community.
Key Stakeholder Groups
The Strategic Plan incorporates and addresses the interests of the following constituencies:
Members of Balsam Mountain Preserve
Local and Regional Communities
Strategic Plan Road Map
We have identified Strategic Initiatives to be evaluated and pursued in the 2017-2020 time frame in the the following categories:
- Environmental Education
- Natural/Cultural Resource Stewardship and Research
- Nature Center
Support Services – essential to implement all work
Strategic Initiative #1: Implement core messages into all EE programming: Nature is valuable inherently and for the resources it provides to humans; What BMT does to make a difference (BMT mission and our role in conservation); What individuals can do to make a difference (provide direct actions and service options where appropriate)
Strategic Initiative #2: Establish BMT as a key environmental education partner in schools and libraries, helping to create an informed and environmentally conscious population
Strategic Initiative #3: Increase member participation in programs, offering a variety of services that expand Balsam Mountain Preserve members’ knowledge of their local area and care for the Preserve’s natural and cultural resources
Strategic Initiative #4: Determine, and continue to evaluate, the optimal animal collection complement to meet Trust’s education needs
Strategic Initiative #1: Encourage, solicit and implement 1-2 research projects annually through application, interest, evaluation and relevance to Balsam Mountain Preserve and the region
Strategic Initiative #2: Evaluate, prioritize and implement routine long-term data collection, inventories, forest health evaluations, etc., relevant to the Trust’s mission
Strategic Initiative #1: Establish the permanent home for the Trust (Nature Center and offices)
Strategic Initiative #1: Increase the income for the Trust in order to support the educational programming, natural and cultural resources, and management and facilities initiatives
Strategic Initiative #2: Build awareness of BMT’s value and importance to the owners at Balsam Mountain Preserve and its considerable public outreach to surrounding communities
Strategic Initiative #3: Expand outside funding through grant applications and increasing Adopt-a-School business sponsor support
Strategic Initiative #4: Consider feasibility of a capital campaign for a new Nature Center
Strategic Initiative #1: Ensure the continuous high-value staff support (volunteers and AmeriCorps partnership) necessary to allow all BMT’s expanding programming to be delivered
Strategic Initiative #2: Continue to improve efficiency and effectiveness of BMT operations
For the full version of the Strategic Plan, including metrics for progress assessment,
please click below:
Board of Trustees: Rob Howard, Janie Stratigos, Ed James, Linda Outlaw, Mary Arbaugh, Al Tunstall, Carol Landers, Sheri Straw, Peter Bates, Peter Smith
Staff: Michael Skinner, executive director; Rose Wall, senior naturalist/education director; Jen Knight, senior naturalist/education director