Landis in 2025: The "Futuring" Project

By Ambika Sanbasivan

“The Landis Arboretum is a valuable cultural and scientific resource that could, with appropriate investment and wise planning, grow in size, scope, and community impact.”

- Strategic Master Plan, 2004.

This statement, made by the then Arboretum Planning Committee, still holds true over a decade later.

This thoughtfully-crafted Master Plan has guided the Arboretum’s various committees and staff over the years by providing a comprehensive blueprint for development. Much of what was envisioned in the 2004 Plan has been successfully accomplished, and the Arboretum continues to flourish under the care of its dedicated stewards. The question that faces the Arboretum today is “What’s next?” It is time to look toward the next ten years and create a compelling vision for the future of this local treasure.

A small team of Board and staff members (Fred Breglia, Gail Browning, Wilma Jozwiak, Nolan Marciniec, Jim Paley, and Louise Polli) has been hard at work this year, reflecting upon the progress made so far and determining the best path ahead for Landis. The team gathered both quantitative data from membership records and qualitative data in the form of a brief audience survey to guide the planning process. Insights obtained from both these resources have played a major role in shaping a proposed plan for the future. As an example, in response to the survey, a significant number of members state that preserving the Arboretum as a regional natural resource is the primary reason they continue to support the organization over the years. This important insight, among others, has helped the team rethink current member benefits and propose new ideas for membership in the coming years.

The goal of this process is to develop a vision for Landis for the year 2025. This ten-year framework is far enough into the near future to stimulate new thinking, and yet manageable enough to allow for detailed planning. With this goal, the team participated in a series of facilitated sessions to dig deeper into different facets of the organization and create a short list of the most critical issues to be addressed in the near term. The results of this planning process will be compiled into a second
Strategic Master Plan for the Arboretum early next year.

During these sessions, it became clear that the original mission statement, adopted in 1998, still represents the heart and soul of the organization: The mission of the Landis Arboretum is to foster appreciation of trees and other plants and their importance in our environment. The key to the Arboretum’s surviving -- and thriving -- in a rapidly-changing world is to continue to bring this important message to newer generations in a relevant and meaningful way.

The planning committee at Landis thanks all those who generously took the time to respond to the survey and provide feedback. These survey responses have been invaluable in guiding the planning process for the future of the Arboretum.

Winter 2016

Volume 34 , Number 1

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