by Whitney Lash-Marshall, Executive Director
Happy New Year! This time of year we often stop to reflect on past experiences and what we want to accomplish in the year ahead. After a busy year of planning in 2018, we are excited to embark upon a year of action in 2019 to begin implementing our new strategic vision.
You’ll notice that we’re investing in our staff, Interpretive Center, and the preserve to bring you and the Central New York community the premier environmental education experience. We’ve renewed our commitment to four major elements of our mission: excellence in environmental education and providing opportunities for all ages to engage in recreation, play, and research and are working towards the goals of enhancing your visitor experience with us, expanding our audiences, and increasing our partnerships across Central New York. We’re thrilled to be working with our partners at the Central New York Land Trust to acquire an adjacent property, expanding the preserve by almost 50%! This joint effort will provide new spaces for recreation, education, and stewardship.
This spring, we’ll put the final touches on the “Fox’s Den” Nature Play Space behind the Interpretive Center – bridging natural areas with space for play, learning, and community – and re-open the Griffith’s Trail. Both of these projects have moved forward thanks to the efforts of local aspiring Eagle Scouts Kyle Stottlar and Brandon Milham. Plus, we’ll be reaching out to you to learn what other improvements you would like to see!
What wonders await you at The Woods this year? Maybe you’ve made it a goal to spend more time outside connecting to nature or to spend more time outdoors being active as a family. These experiences are so important for connecting us emotionally to the world around us and stick with us throughout our lifetime. Whether you want to connect to nature through art, photography, a quiet walk on a trail, learning how to identify trees or birds, or trying something completely new – like snowshoeing or viewing a total lunar eclipse – we hope you’ll spend time here with us trying out a new program, hiking our trails, and engaging with us!
Your support – whether as a visitor, a member, an attendee to a program or event, a volunteer, or through financial contributions – helps keep The Woods going and growing. On behalf of our entire board and staff, we thank you for supporting our mission, our work, and our future. We are all excited to share this next phase of our growth with you!