To achieve our goals, we have adopted three inter-related strategies:
- Engage many more Reservation neighbors and visitors through creative, strategic programming;
- Increase our capacity by building strong leadership that reflects all the Reservation’s users; and
- Grow a cadre of citizen activists and build support for the Reservation in all the communities surrounding it.
Below, each strategy is described in more detail.
1) Engage People in the Reservation
People love being in the Reservation. We need to capitalize on all the Blue Hills has to offer, and create programs to attract new and repeat participants to enjoy the Blue Hills and to work to protect it.
We currently offer over fifty programs in the Blue Hills; however we have not been consistently intentional about designing our programs to grow engagement and commitment to the stewardship of the Blue Hills. Each weed buster program might lead someone to monitoring invasive species in the Reservation. Each trail maintenance program might lead someone to become a trail adopter; however we have not thought beyond the activity and how every program can lead people to get more involved and committed to protecting the Blue Hills.
To optimize the benefit from our programs, we will prioritize our audience and focus our resources on the programs that will deepen people’s commitment to and engagement in protecting the Blue Hills.
• Build strategic partnerships to maximize engagement of current programs
• Develop creative programs that will draw new audiences and more people
• Better support existing programs that have potential for greater participation
2) Increase Organizational Capacity
We now have a dedicated and active Board, about 15 major donors and 800 current members. To achieve our vision, we need to scale it up, and evolve. We need an internal organization that matches the external challenges. The cornerstone of that effort is the Board. We will continue to build a vibrant, effective Board that represents the whole community of Reservation users and Reservation supporters: a Board that provides the work, offers the wisdom and taps the wealth we need to move forward.
• Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of Board members’ current skills and backgrounds
• Enhance Board structure, roles and expectations
• Recruit and train new Board and Committee members
• Capitalize on new Board structure to attract and engage more members.
3) Build active, vocal, community support to reach decision makers
Programs in the Reservation are a great opportunity to reach people we don’t know and continue to engage people we do know. We also need to reach out into the communities around the Reservation to build relationships with community leaders and other allies. Their active, vocal support will influence civic leaders to make decisions that protect the Reservation from development and budget cuts.
There are six communities adjacent to the Reservation. Currently we have 350 members or about forty percent (40%) of our membership in three towns: Milton (182), Canton (64) and Quincy (25). We will focus on these communities and seek to grow membership exponentially. We will meet the community leaders, form new relationships with people in town, understand their interests and learn what motivates them.
• Build core group of advocates in Milton, Canton and Quincy
• Develop a town-based campaigns each year based on the passions and challenges of each town
• Work closely with 10 civic leaders to increase our influence on Blue Hills issues