Director’s Notebook: Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020

Conservation // January 04, 2018

What is Wissahickon Valley Park? This is the question we posed at a public meeting in January of this year, part of a public dialogue that helped us determine what is achievable for FOW’s Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020.  Through this meeting and the entire process of developing the Blueprint, we learned that the Wissahickon is not simply a nature preserve, a woodland, a forest, an urban park, or a watershed park. It is all these things and more.

FOW’s Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020 confirms FOW’s commitment to preserving all that the Wissahickon is and outlines the work FOW will execute in Wissahickon Valley Park over the next three years. It took more than two years for FOW’s Board of Directors and staff to complete the strategic planning process—an undertaking characterized by actively sought community input. We invited comments at a large public meeting, held two focus groups of park stakeholders, and conducted an online survey. We also conducted dozens of interviews with park stakeholders and FOW partners.

The Blueprint shares our programmatic approach and takes you through an abbreviated version of the process FOW undertook—the topics and questions we explored—in order to arrive at our three areas of strategic priority: habitat, infrastructure, and engagement.

What you won’t see in the Blueprint is how FOW has reconfigured our Board of Directors and certain committees (development, governance, and budget and finance) to support our new strategic goals. This means development has become a role shared more broadly across the entire Board of Directors, governance is focusing more strongly on the integration of all directors with our mission and messaging, and budget and finance is building revenue streams not only from membership, foundations, and individual donors, but also from new potential revenue sources.

Prior strategic plans at FOW have focused on the growth of the organization. This strategic plan focuses more on the park and how FOW can best care for this unique asset and serve the community. After you have finished reading the Strategic Blueprint 2018-2020, we hope you will consider how you can be a part of the effort to preserve Wissahickon Valley Park for the next three years and into the future.

Maura McCarthy
Executive Director