Two weeks ago marked the second anniversary of a thought to start a public non-profit organization with a mission to create public parks. As the idea developed it grew to include caring for conservation land and improving science education. Since then we have discovered and embraced a new range of possibilities for creating public benefit using conservation land.
In 2013 we made progress in forming relationships with other non-profit organizations. The conversation begins with a question. “How can your use of our land enhance the public benefit of your mission?” It is a simple question for sure, but absolutely exciting. We are open to a range of ideas. Among our current projects that we are hoping to launch in 2014 in conjunction with other non-profits and educational institutions are a new farmer incubation program involving United Nations refugee immigrants, a field biology lab in conjunction with a public high school and large state university, and wetland and forest restoration projects on multiple properties.
Our fundraising efforts have been meager at best. Unlike many non-profits we are so busy doing our work that we seem to neglect raising money. This is definitely something that we have to improve, but we remain optimistic that if we create enough public good the money will follow. Is it naïve? Maybe. Does it reflect our inherent optimism and confidence? Yes.
We continue to attract new Board leadership and volunteers. In seems we have the same approach to recruiting people as we do with fundraising. If we do enough good work, good people will find us.
The 2013 Stats:
We were given fee simple ownership of 4 properties with a total of about 2,500 acres of land. They are all perpetually conserved by deed restriction.
We participated in a project that ended with us making our first land purchase and conserving it. It will become a passive public park. The Georgia Conservancy was a big help with this project.
We were given land in North Carolina which was our first outside of Georgia.
Questions and Comments: Bill Jones, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org