(Canastota, Town of Lenox, NY – Feb. 2013) As I am sure that you are aware, this past year 2012 the GSC was granted monies to hire a full-time executive director. While our initial efforts didn’t work out as hoped, the board has come together like never before and is trying to fill the void; however, only having the position for such as short period of time, it was fairly easy for us, due to our experienced people, to get us back on course.
What we are now doing is slowing down a bit, but not stopping, our forward motion. We are asking the Gifford Foundation to change the focus of their funds to that of a part-time position. This will be an administrative assistant, or some equivalent, which will aid and assist the board in completing various tasks as well as day-to-day operations. This will be a bridge to get us a two-year professional grant through the LTA that we were previously closed out of.
Although in an unfortunate situation, there is always a positive lesson or two to be learned from almost every experience. The board has gelled, and our volunteers have come together to aid and assist on many matters. So where do we go from here? Forward and onward; it is the only way to go. Now, if all of the foundations work with us, the next major task will be to look for a qualified individual who will help us get to the next level.
With everyone working so well together now, I feel that this should be a fairly easy task. In the meantime, things are running very well as we continue to go forward with our day-to-day operations, grants barn construction, demonstration areas and improvements to our trails, new Eagle Scout project for the front of schoolhouse and picnic pavilion, etc.
The list of projects and accomplishments go on and on.
I am very thankful to all of the foundations with whom we have relationships; they have been very understanding and helpful through these difficult times. Luckily, all of the foundations know us and have built a very solid and positive working relationship with us over the past 15 years; they also strongly support us. We are so lucky to have such good friends.
With the grants we now have in place, we will move forward with the work of winterizing our barn, continuing to advertise and do professional quality printings, work on our trails and signage and hopefully have a part-time employee to aid and assist in the operation of our organization.
Finally, what a great turnout for our annual meeting. The Suzuki School was just wonderful, bringing us some Old World charm. Ron put together a great PowerPoint program that highlighted 2012 and Charlotte’s gardens. Thanks to Brian Howell and family for the use of their facility. It worked out great. A special thanks to all members, Swamp Snapper members and guests who braved the weather to make our 15th annual meeting a resounding success.
Michael J. Patane is executive director and chief executive officer for the Great Swamp Conservancy. For more information about the GSC, call 315.697.2950.