1 7 With projections for Strategic Plan Protecting the land we love for future generations December
2 Introduction Land trusts are community based, non-profit, charitable organizations that focus on the protection and conservation of lands which have a natural, historic and/or cultural value to the local community. There are over thirty land trusts across Ontario. The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust can trace its beginnings back to. In September of that year, Environment Haliburton hosted a forum to see if there was public interest in forming a land trust. There was such interest and in January 4, seven people agreed to sit on the first Board of Directors to guide the formation of a land trust within Haliburton County. Through their efforts, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) was incorporated on March, 5. On May 6, 5, HHLT was registered as a charitable organization, and on October, 5, HHLT was approved as a potential recipient of gifts under the Ecological Gifts Program of Environment Canada. A strategic plan is an internal document that guides the workings of an organization. It sets out what the organization wants to accomplish over a period of time and suggests ways and means of achieving goals. A strategic plan is a living document, open to revision and change but is always leading towards the achievement of an organization s central focus. Haliburton Highlands Land Trust developed an initial strategic plan in 9. This was a reasonably detailed and ambitious plan. Parts of it have been implemented but much has not been; it did not fully account for the limited resources available to the land trust. These limitations both in terms of people available to assist with the workload and the finances necessary to move forward on several fronts have caused the land trust some difficulty. During the summer of, the land trust began to embark on a process of renewal. The land trust re-examined its focus and developed a vision statement to guide activities into the future. It examined its governance model and how it might better utilize directors on the Board, employ committees to undertake projects and program components, and, develop and use a strong membership base to achieve its vision. As part of its renewal, the land trust further recognized the need for a staff complement to work with and for the Board of Directors and committees. Into the future the land trust wants to be: The go to agency for land protection. The first point of contact for municipalities within Haliburton wanting environmental information. Recognized by the community as the key environmental group within Haliburton County and used by the community as a trusted advisor for what is best for and what to do with the land. A hub of information on land protection and stewardship within Haliburton County. A source of information by which landowners can be empowered to steward their land. A community based group which supports responsible development and a group respected for its environmental positions taken. A community supported, non-government and independent organization working for the interests of the Haliburton Highlands.
3 Going forward, education, community outreach and private land stewardship are viewed as fundamental avenues through which the land trust will work to support land protection. Land protection through acquisition and management will continue to also be an important component used to secure and maintain representative landscapes. Based on the above, the vision statement of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust is: The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust is your independent, non-government community resource organization for land and water protection. It protects land and water within Haliburton by: Encouraging broad community engagement and understanding through education and outreach; Encouraging and supporting private land stewardship initiatives which contribute to land and water protection; and, Acquiring and/or managing land parcels representative of the Haliburton natural landscape and historic/cultural heritage. To achieve this vision, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust must continue to develop its membership base as the foundation of all its programming and governance. It is also clear that funding, while challenging, is vitally necessary if the land trust is to be successful. Therefore the land trust must develop a strategic plan that addresses membership, funding and the vision for the future within a framework of governance and organizational structure that can be sustained. Strategic Goals and Targets Based on the above, six strategic goals have been set:. To have a large and demographically diverse membership that is supportive of the land trust.. To have funds each year sufficient to support the programs and administrative structure of the land trust.. To have administrative and operational policies that guide the workings of the land trust. 4. To have the public-at-large aware of and supportive of the land trust. 5. To have the public-at-large steward their lands in a manner that conserves and protects its natural, historic and/or cultural values. 6. To protect and manage lands that are representative of the natural, historic and cultural heritage within Haliburton County. In order to better measure just how successful the land trust is at meeting the six goals, measureable targets have been set. These targets are given timelines over five years and a further forecast of achievables at the end of ten years. They provide a focal point to aspire too.
4 The Strategic Plan The purpose of this strategic plan is to offer guidance in meeting the goals and targets that contribute to achieving the vision of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. This plan will serve to keep activities focused. It will serve as a guide for the development of annual committee and staff workplans and budgets. As part of that process, the plan will be reviewed on an annual basis to measure the progress and consider updates based on internal and external factors and opportunities. Six committees have been established to address the goals. Each committee is responsible for one of the strategic goals and the activities associated with the goal. As such, each committee is charged with developing detailed workplans on specific activities required. Each committee reports to the Board of Directors. The committees may establish working groups to assist with meeting objectives associated with each goal. The committees along with their key activities are:. Membership Committee : membership development; partnerships; community networking; volunteer coordination. Funding Committee: annual budget development; funding and revenue development. Governance Committee: administrative and program policy development; terms of reference; human resources 4. Communications and Outreach Committee: promotional material development; community education; promotional events; 5. Stewardship Committee: development of information library on stewardship; outreach to private landowners and community organizations 6. Lands Committee: identification of lands of interest; securement of lands of interest; management of lands of interest. Below are the goals with associated activities. Expected outcomes and timelines for the completion of activities are provided to assist workplanning. It is anticipated that outcomes and timelines may change as more detailed workplanning is done and activities are completed/adjusted through time. The purpose of having the outcomes and timelines in the strategic plan is to provide initial guidance and a sense of priority. In and of themselves they are not must haves but rather directional signposts showing the way forward towards achieving the vision of the land trust through the implementation of the strategic plan.
5 Goal : To have a large and demographically diverse membership that is supportive of the land trust (responsibility of the Membership & Networking Committee) To achieve Goal. Create a database on all current land trust members that includes information such as:. Dates of membership. Class of membership. Financial support given each year 4. Address/telephone/ 5. Member occupation 6. Member skill sets 7. Member interests 8. Member age group 9. Member involvement with land trust The database created should have two sections to cover both individual and corporate members Clear understanding of current strengths and limitations of members Identification of skill set gaps within membership that need to be filled. Develop a list of potential members (individual and corporate) similar to the above that broadens the demographic and skill set base available to the land trust. Revisit and update this potential members list annually. Data base available to land trust that outlines members and types of members that land trust should attempt to recruit and the skills matrix that these potential members provide 4
6 To achieve Goal. Regularly communicate with members of the land trust about information, events, activities, etc. (Work with the Communications Committee on this). An increase in the annual membership retention rate by 6 have a retention rate of 7 to 8% Members are more active in the land trust: by the end of fiscal 6, 5 members are involved either being on committees, volunteering for projects, or willing to sit on the Board of Directors by the end of fiscal 7, 5 members are actively involved by the end of fiscal, 5 members are actively involved.4 Using the developed membership data base and skills matrix, contact potential new individual members to discuss membership; provide communications materials to potential members; invite them to events; ask them to take out memberships. An increase in membership and revenues from membership At least 5 members and $,5 associated revenue by the end of fiscal 6 At least 6 members and $9, associated revenue by the end of fiscal 7 members and $65, associated revenue by the end of fiscal 5
7 To achieve Goal.5 Ask members for assistance in recruiting additional members As stated above, a larger and more active membership base with higher revenues.6 Suggest to members that they change their membership category to a higher level of support A wider distribution of membership categories (less individual, more supporting, etc.) By end of fiscal 6: 5 Individual ($,5) 75 Family ($,75) 45 Guardian ($4,5) 5 Steward ($,75) Champion ($5) 5 Forever ($5,) The above numbers increase to achieve the 7 and revenue targets.7 In consultation with the Funding Committee, ask individual members to consider becoming a regular financial donor Additional revenue beyond membership targets More members within higher membership categories 6
8 To achieve Goal.8 Consider corporate memberships in similar manner as individual memberships develop data base on potential corporate members; recruit corporate members; get businesses involved with projects and committees; ask their support to further recruit other corporate members; invite corporate members to increase their revenue support A corporate membership base within the land trust representative of business and industry within Haliburton County An expansion of corporate memberships beyond Haliburton County to include business and industry deriving benefit from areas of natural and scenic beauty Recruitment of corporate members: By the end of 6 have 4 corporate members valued at $,95: 6 maple ($6); birch ($75); oak ($6); red pine ($,); white pine ($,) By the end of 7 have corporate members valued at $7, By the end of have 5 corporate members valued at $, 7
9 To achieve Goal.9 Develop a data base on potential partners and networking opportunities for land trust. In doing this, consider the needs of the other land trust committees and most importantly consider the needs of the partners (what do they get out of the relationship). Working with other committees, approach potential partners and network colleagues on specific projects The land trust has documentation on partners and organizations with which it should consider working. This leads to increased partnerships and networking and hence the accomplishments of the land trust increase. Partnerships and network opportunities increase through time: By end of 6 have 6 partnerships and a network of organizations By the end of 7 have 8 partnerships and a network of 5 organizations By the end of have partnerships and a network of organizations 8
10 To achieve Goal. Develop volunteer data base to be used by the land trust identify volunteer needs of other committees within land trust; consider skill sets required to meet needs; examine membership base for matches. Consider what volunteers need and want in order to participate. In consultation with other committees, recruit volunteers for specific projects and activities. Make sure to consider volunteer opportunities available within the administrative and office aspects of running the land trust. A resource pool of people who may volunteer for projects with the land trust and through this volunteer involvement may advance to committee members and/or directors of the land trust Board By 6 the land trust will have volunteers By 7 the land trust will have volunteers By the land trust will have 5 volunteers. Working with the Governance Committee, develop volunteer coordination guidelines by the end of 4 covering topics such as how to match volunteer skills with land trust needs; how to approach volunteers to ensure their participation; how to retain volunteers over the long-term; ways and means of showing volunteers the land trust s appreciation. Revisit and update guidelines on a regular basis. A systematic means of looking after the needs of volunteers Happy volunteers and a high degree of volunteer retention: at least 75% retention by 6 at least 85% retention by 7 over 9% retention by Volunteer guidelines which are current and satisfy the needs of the land trust and the volunteers that serve it as evidenced by the high retention rates 9
11 Goal : To have funds each year sufficient to support the programs and administrative structure of the land trust (responsibility of the Funding Committee) To achieve Goal. In consultation with other committees, research and document potential funding sources that fit with the land trust s operational, programming and project needs A listing of funding sources that meet the immediate and long-term needs of the land trust. Develop a fundraising plan that has a diversity of funding sources, types, scales, and timelines A means by which funds can be secured from a variety of sources.
12 To achieve Goal. Develop a list of potential private donors containing information on:. Donor interests. Degree of involvement with the land trust to date. Donations given to date 4. Contact information address, telephone, 5. Who within the land trust knows the donor 6. The potential amount that might be donated annually, lifetime 7. All contact made with the donor an ongoing record of who made contact, when, what was discussed, follow-up actions A must have data base of potential donors and a means of knowing how to approach each and the amount of support that may be anticipated. By the end of fiscal 6 have at least 4 active private donors with total annual donations of $, By the end of fiscal 7 have at least 5 active private donors with total annual donations of $4, By the end of fiscal have at least active private donors with total annual donations of $, Make contact with potential and ongoing donors to discuss opportunities for them to become involved with land trust activities and/or make a financial donation. Regularly follow up with donors and potential donors contacted. Do not assume that one refusal to donate means the person will never donate; it likely means not now or not to a particular project. Always follow up with a thank you following a donation. Do regular courtesy calls even when no donation is being sought.
13 To achieve Goal.4 Consider, develop and secure corporate sponsors and partners that will provide ongoing financial support beyond membership. Have additional revenues associated with specific programs and projects By 6 have 5 corporate sponsors with revenues of $5, By 7 have 7 corporate sponsors with revenues of $, By have 5 corporate sponsors with revenues of $45,.5 Working directly with the Communications Committee and coordinating with the other committees of the land trust, create and implement a specific funding campaign of an Interpretive Learning Centre (see Goal 4 below) Funding for the Centre comes from donations and corporate sponsorship and requires a dedicated effort beyond that required to sustain normal land trust programming. There should thus be established a subcommittee with a link to the Communications Committee tasked with achieving this longterm objective. Establish an Interpretive Learning Centre subcommittee to promote and raise funds: Find an honourary chair person of stature to head the fundraising campaign Set the funding goal likely in the range of $8, Seek and secure corporate sponsors/ contributors, private donors/supporters, and partner organizations
14 Goal : To have administrative and operational policies that guide the workings of the land trust (responsibility of the Governance Committee) To achieve Goal. Review all by-laws and policies of the land trust to identify gaps and changes required An understanding of what needs to be done to bring administrative and programming policies, by-laws and related considerations up to a satisfactory standard that provides the framework for operating the land trust Ongoing review every five years. Consider and document what by-laws and/or policies may be needed the categories to be considered such as financial, record keeping, human resources, etc. and the subcategories within each category for financial: budget development, interim statements, purchasing controls, signing authority, banking, investment By the end of the land trust will have a plan in place for renewing by-laws, policies and related items and associated with this plan there will be a checklist of what needs to be done according to priorities set out in the plan. Update the governance plan every five years. Coordinate the annual review of the strategic plan between all land trust committees and the Board of Directors. This review should talk place just prior to year end and be used as input for the forthcoming year s workplanning and budgeting The strategic plan is kept current and altered as need be to meet changing needs and circumstances.
15 To achieve Goal.4 Draft and/or revise by-laws, policies and related items as required By-laws and policies are current and satisfy the operational and governance needs of the organization By the end of fiscal the land trust will have: terms of reference for all committees job descriptions for all officers and staff positions a director s information handbook outlining duties and responsibilities policies and procedures related to financial control By the end of fiscal 4, the land trust will have: human resources policies an amended and updated by-law volunteer guidelines By the end of fiscal 5, the land trust will have: a staff salary grid and compensation policy guidelines for corporate sponsors guidelines for partner relations policies for land securement By the end of fiscal 7, the land trust will revise all the above policies and procedures By the end of fiscal the land trust will revise al policies and procedures from 7 4
16 Goal 4: To have the public-at-large aware of and supportive of the land trust (responsibility of the Communications & Education Committee) To achieve Goal 4 4. Working in concert with the other land trust committees to ensure their needs are met, develop a range of communications tools (pamphlets, newsletters, videos, radio infomercials, etc.) and use both printed media, radio and television media, and digital media/web based media to promote the land trust, its values and accomplishments, and to advocate for public support and involvement. When developing materials consider membership and membership retention; volunteers and opportunities open to them; fundraising needs; special projects; reaching out the youth and education groups; attracting broad public support; land securement opportunities; private land stewardship; property management. Membership in the land trust and associated revenues increase as previously documented Requests for land trust documents/information increases by % each year between 5 and as noted by the number of copies of printed material required, the number of hits on the land trust website, the number of radio interviews each year, the number of land trust videos requested by various groups, etc. 4. Speak on the land trust and its programs at various venues service clubs, schools, outdoor clubs, religious institutions, horticultural society, cottage associations, etc. Land trust membership and revenue increases as previously documented Requests for speakers increases: speakers in 6 5 speakers in 7 speakers in 5
17 To achieve Goal 4 4. Hold events hikes, tours, workshops, public meetings, etc. Land trust membership and revenue increases as previously documented Events increase in number and participation over time: by 6 the land trust has 6 events held over the year and total participation of 4 or more people by 7 the land trust has 8 events each year and total participation of over 4 people by the land trust has at least events each year and total participation of over 75 people 4.4 In addition to the events described above, develop a speaker s series on a wide variety of topics each with a guest speaker and invite the public to attend. Topics might include photography, painting, gardening, star gazing, various crafts, etc. Land trust membership and revenue increases as previously documented The number of speaker events increases over time and the number of people attending each event increases too: by 6 there are 6 speakers during the year with average attendance of people per speaker by 7 there are 8 speakers per year and an average attendance of 4 people per speaker by there are speakers per year and an average of 5 people per speaker 6
18 To achieve goal Develop an Interpretive Learning Centre for land protection and stewardship within the Dahl forest or other suitable location to demonstrate land stewardship options and techniques, long-term environmental thinking, nature programming for youth groups, community involvement and participation, etc. Funding for the Centre comes from the effort of all land trust members and is spearheaded by a sub-committee of the Funding Committee (see Goal above) Between 5 and 7 the development concept and design will be established The centre will be open to the public and to organized groups to promote education and learning. Eventually it will become the focal point and administrative centre for the land trust. It will thus provide the land trust with a landmark site within Haliburton County and establish the land trust as the leader in land conservation and protection as per the land trust vision. Work closely with the Interpretive Learning Centre funding sub-committee to promote and raise funds. 7
19 Goal 5: To have the public-at-large steward their lands in a manner that conserves and protects its natural, historic and/or cultural values (responsibility of the Stewardship Committee) To achieve Goal 5 5. Develop a resource/information library on a wide range of land stewardship activities and make this information available to land owners. (In time this library will be housed within the Interpretive Learning Centre as described under Goal #4) Landowners are able to get information on stewardship from the land trust The land trust is seen to be the key organization within the community that a landowner can rely on for good information. The number of information requests increases over time: during 5 there are requests for information by 7 this has risen to requests by there are over requests made to the land trust 5. Working with the Communications and Education Committee, promote private land stewardship through vehicles such as facts sheets, speaking engagements, radio and television talk shows. Landowners understand the value of the land trust in supporting landowner needs Membership in and support for the land trust increases as shown by membership numbers and revenues Requests for private lands stewardship increases through time: by end of 6 there are5 stewardship requests each year by the end of 7 there are 5 requests by the end of there are over 5 requests 8
20 To achieve Goal 5 5. Working with the Membership and Networking Committee, develop partnerships for stewardship with other groups within Haliburton that have an interest in the land agriculture, forestry, anglers and hunters, hikers, bicyclists, tourist operators, real estate, fisheries managers, outdoor clubs, churches, aggregate operators Outreach is increased to a wider audience More stewardship partnerships and more networking is done as reported to the land trust from participating landowners: by the end of fiscal 6 the land trust has stewardship related partnerships by the end of fiscal 7, 5 stewardship partnerships By the end of fiscal, stewardship partnerships 5.4 Working with the Membership and Networking Committee, recruit volunteers to assist landowners with various stewardship activities More people are actively involved with stewardship projects on private lands: by 6 have 5 stewardship volunteers by 7 have 4 stewardship volunteers by have stewardship volunteers 9
21 Goal 6: To protect and manage lands that are representative of the natural, historic and cultural heritage within Haliburton County (responsibility of the Lands Committee) To achieve Goal 6 6. Identify all land types of potential interest. Without being limiting, types may include old growth forest, wetland, breeding/spawning habitat, open meadow, SAR habitat, historic settlement, or cultural heritage An understanding of the types of lands the land trust is interested in and the rationale justifying these lands as being of interest to the land trust 6. Develop a ranking system for lands of interest high, medium, low priority Provides the base rationale to be used by the land trust in making decisions about land securement Sets out securement priorities 6. Working with the Governance Committee, develop land securement policies and procedures Provides guidance on how lands will be secured who does what, how the Board provides approvals, etc. 6.4 Review and update lands of interest and rankings every second year Lands of interest are kept current 6.5 Map out lands of interest noting diversity, linkages, geographic spread, types (natural/historic/cultural) Provide a visual picture of how lands across Haliburton County fit together into the future securement activities of the land trust
22 To achieve Goal Working with the Funding Committee, develop a funding war chest for land securement Allows for lands to be secured or at least action towards securement to be initiated when an opportunity presents itself. By the end of fiscal 7 there is a reserve for land securement of $, that is maintained annually at that level By the end of fiscal 7, there will be at least one parcel of land secured within each of the four geographic (municipal) regions of Haliburton County By the end of fiscal, there will be at least one parcel of land representative of each type of land of interest to the land trust within each of the geographic (municipal) regions of Haliburton County 6.7 Working with the Membership and Networking Committee, strike a management group for each parcel of land secured Each parcel of land with which the land trust is involved has an active management group dedicated to it 6.8 Work with the Membership and Networking Committee and each property management group, to get volunteers involved with the management of each land parcel There are volunteers involved with management activities on each parcel of land with which the land trust is involved
23 To achieve Goal Within one-year of acquiring any land parcel, develop and implement a management plan for that land parcel Lands secured by the land trust will be managed in accordance with a Board approved plan Public sees and understands that the land trust acts in a responsible fashion regarding lands secured; public confidence in the land trust is increased as evidenced by increases in membership, partnerships, and landowner requests for stewardship and/or inquiries for securement Lands secured by the land trust are models for stewardship and nodes for public education and environmental learning as evidenced by the number and variety of events and activities annually held. 6. Review and update management plans every five years Management of all lands is kept current and progresses with the needs of the land trust and its community.
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