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Swamp makes plans

Once the data collection is complete, Haynie will bring the compiled information to Dr. Richard Smarden at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry to formulate the actual plan.

"We have hired him, using a grant from the Gorman Foundation in Sherrill," Patane said. "He's a professional at writing strategic plans. He will develop a draft for board review and adoption."

The completed plan will allow the GSC to apply for much larger grants than it has been eligible for in the past, Patane said.

"It also opens the door to many other granting opportunities," Patane said.

Another reason the plan is urgently needed is because the planning and vision for the organization has always been in Patane's head, he said.

"What happens if something happens to me and I'm not there?" Patane said. "We need this information down in some organized, recorded, logical fashion so the board and volunteers can run with it."

The GSC also has a number of projects underway, not the least of which is the transformation of the barn into a museum of the area's culture and history.

"This may mean a need to change the organizational structure," Patane said. "We need to start forming committees, so certain people are responsible for certain types of projects. Then they can recruit volunteers interested in those project areas and focus on developing them."

To date, the nature center has stayed true to its original objectives, Patane said.

"We're not going to stop doing anything, but there are some things that have been ongoing, which are winding down, such as the wetlands restoration program," Patane said.

The energy and resources dedicated to WRP can now be redirected to other projects needing attention, Patane said.

"A lot of good ideas came from that [Oct. 27] meeting," Patane said. "When we are done, we're going to know who we are, where we came from and where we're going.

The GSC will hold its second session at 3 p.m. on Nov. 10. The public is welcome to participate, Patane said.

For more information, call 697-2950.

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