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Swamp makes plans

Nature center hopes to boost funding opportunities

After talking for a couple of years about its future, the Great Swamp Conservancy is solidifying its vision. Thanks to the help of Jessica Haynie, a Chittenango-area graduate student, the nature center is well on its way to developing a strategic plan.

"The conservancy has gotten to the point where we've accomplished a lot of the original goals set forth in our mission statement," said Executive Director Michael J. Patane. "In its 10th anniversary year, the organization has matured to the point where we need to revise that mission statement and put down a plan for the direction of the Great Swamp Conservancy for the next five to 10 years."

Patane has been pushing for the development of a strategic plan for the past couple of years, he said. The impetus for that idea was a meeting with the Rosamond Gifford Foundation.

"They strongly suggested at that time that we should do a strategic plan," Patane said. "With that plan in place, it gives funding institutions and foundations a chance to see where you are and that we have an organized plan to get where we want to go."

Haynie, who is studying non-profit organizations, led a group of four members of the board of directors and three members of the organization through an overview of the planning process and the beginning of the data collection phase of the strategic plan Oct. 27. She is not receiving school credit for the project, according to Patane.

"She has generously volunteered her time to help us gather the information for the strategic plan," Patane said. "We are very grateful to have her working with us because she brings with her the most current knowledge and theories being studied in the non-profit field. Hopefully, when we are done with this process, we will have the most current and up-to-date document possible."

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