Monday, September 12, 2016

Our Vision

As we begin a new season, and get down to business after summer, Avalonia Land Conservancy is also embarking on its next season. After the initial work of collecting, organizing, and submitting accreditation material to the Land Trust Alliance, the next phase is to respond to their suggestions to complete the process. One suggestion was to create a vision statement of where we see ourselves in the future. Our vision statement was created this past summer, and who better to explain it to the membership than the President.
The greatest vision-future generations

 Dennis Main wants to bring his messages to the membership. In the future they may be sent directly to the membership via an email “blast” and his updates will be available on our Avalonia website. But this week I ask you to think of the Vision Statement in relation to all the wonderful lands we protect, cherish and share with our members and friends.   Beth

Our Vision

Update from the President
Dennis S. Main
I am honored to serve as Avalonia’s ninth President, following a rich tradition of leaders dedicated to conservation of habitats in Southeastern CT. There has always been an underlying vision for preservation that has remained the basis of Avalonia's work dating dating back to February 21, 1968, when Lois S. Tefft, Hugo J. Wilms, John H. Hubbard, and Hugh L. M. Cole first incorporated Avalonia as the then-named Mashantucket Land Trust, Inc.
As part of the Avalonia Accreditation process currently underway, the Board of Directors has formalized a Vision Statement for our organization, and it was adopted at the June BOD meeting. It is posted to our website and shared with you here:

Avalonia Vision Statement

(adopted by BOD, June 22, 2016)
  • To be the primary regional and leading best-practice land trust in Southeastern CT, protecting and conserving natural resources including threatened and declining habitats;
  • Work collaboratively with other land trusts, preservation groups, political entities, not-for-profits, etc. in the southeastern Connecticut area to conserve key habitats;
  • Create a Strategic Conservation Plan with fully integrated mapping to allow proactive identification of priority acquisition parcels and partnering opportunities;
  • Grow our Town and Standing Committees to become more robust, fully staffed, and functioning Committees to meet stewardship, acquisition, and other organizational requirements;
  • Complete and maintain Accreditation with a Board of Directors and Executive Director fully versed in Land Trust Alliance Practices and Standards;
  • Steward fee properties in accordance with individual management plans and develop public recreational and educational opportunities where appropriate including compliant ADA trails where feasible;
  • Monitor all Conservation Easement properties as required by law and best practices;
  • Maintain and/or return arable lands to productive farming where appropriate through innovative partnering;
  • Strengthen financial support of conserved lands while controlling costs and maintaining transparency.
As a President dedicated to communication, I plan to offer regular updates on our work toward that Vision as we complete our Accreditation work (an additional information response is due back from the BOD to the Accreditation Commission October 14, 2016.) We will also be planning for our 50th anniversary celebration events. We continue to partner with fellow Land Trusts, and to collaborate with other environmental organizations to further our mission for conservation. We are fleshing out details of a Capital Plan to support preservation and acquisition opportunities in our mission area. We will also strive to continually enhance our communication, education, and outreach to our members and the greater community we serve.
I look forward to working with the Avalonia community and welcome all to help me work toward this vision.

I can be reached at:

Avalonia's first acquisition was Ram Point in Stonington.
A parcel in the Great Cedar Swamp in Ledard is the most recent acquisition.
Working with partners to preserve farmlands will be part of our vision.

Photographs by Beth Sullivan and Rick Newton.

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