Mohonk Preserve Strategic Plan

This plan sets forth strategic direction for Mohonk Preserve for the next five or more years. It is intended as an “evergreen” plan in which mission, vision and core values stand the test of time, while specific initiatives and actions may be adapted to current needs.

The plan contains key goals and results that the Preserve can achieve and identifies specific focus areas, and is intentionally designed to include flexibility to respond to future challenges, needs, decisions and projects.

Strategic Planning Process

The strategic planning process began in January 2022. A Strategic Plan Working Group of four board members and six staff was convened monthly, and the process was facilitated by Common Ground Consulting, LLC. Staff and board engagement was encouraged and solicited throughout the process during meetings and via email, phone and online feedback. The plan was approved by the Board of Directors on June 25, 2023.

Strategic Plan Working Group Members

Kevin Case – President
Barbara Ginsberg – Board Member
Eric Gullickson – Board Member
Jeff Morris – Part-Time Trailhead Ranger
Patrick Paul – Board Member
Andy Reynolds – Volunteer Programs Manager
Eric Roth – Associate Director of Development and Grants
Julia Solomon – Director of Conservation Programs
Ellen M. Sticker – Chief of Staff
Kathleen Weathers – Board Member
Consultant: Larissa Read – Common Ground Consulting, LLC

Full Staff Strategic Plan Meeting by Larissa Read

A portion of this work was funded by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental Protection Fund.

Strategic Plan Goals

Mohonk Preserve prioritizes the use of ecological knowledge to drive land conservation and management decisions.

As an accredited land trust and well-known nature preserve, Mohonk Preserve undertakes numerous activities that support our primary mission to protect a large, contiguous portion of the northern Shawangunk Ridge. Management and land acquisition decisions are supported by the Preserve’s legacy of natural history monitoring and the integration of current approaches to conservation and climate resilience. By prioritizing conservation and the incorporation of ecological knowledge, Mohonk Preserve strives to balance human use of the land to retain environmental and cultural integrity long into the future.

Land Protection & GIS Manager Ed Pestone by Mohonk Preserve Staff

Key Results:

  • Mohonk Preserve integrates adaptive management approaches and actions that increase the Preserve’s ecological resilience.
  • Mohonk Preserve uses thoughtful management and conservation strategies that consider resources in context, including rapidly changing environmental conditions.
  • Mohonk Preserve has trusting and impactful relationships with Indigenous partners.
  • Mohonk Preserve is a regional leader in maintaining and applying natural history knowledge to conservation decisions.
Research Ecologist Megan Napoli by Bill Winter

Mohonk Preserve provides visitors opportunities for transformational experiences that connect them to our mission.

Visitor use and enjoyment are important components of Mohonk Preserve’s mission, history and future. Since visitor activities can have both beneficial and detrimental impacts on the Preserve, visitor opportunities are positioned in the context of its broader conservation mission. Mohonk Preserve can best serve our visitors and mission by providing a range of opportunities that support, enhance and provide education and engagement about its exceptional and unique resources.

Summer camp kid at mohonk preserve having a fun summer of exploring the natural world with Ashawna Abbott, Education Outreach Coordinator
Education Outreach Coordinator Ashawna Abbott with summer camp participant by Mohonk Preserve Staff

Key Results:

  • Mohonk Preserve supports visitor experiences that are compatible with our conservation values.
  • Mohonk Preserve provides exceptional opportunities for wellbeing, outdoor recreation and education that excite and engage visitors and connect to our mission.
  • Mohonk Preserve shares important, complete and evolving stories of the land and the surrounding region.
Trailhead Ranger Alan Kline greeting visitors at the West Trapps Trailhead by Andrew Bajardi

Mohonk Preserve fosters a sense of belonging for all through inclusive and equitable actions and opportunities.

All who interact with the Preserve, from full-time staff to one-time visitors, should feel they belong here. The benefits and experiences of Mohonk Preserve should be available to all visitors, partners and community members. As a place-based organization, we acknowledge that we are part of a community that extends far beyond our boundaries. We recognize the consequences of past decisions, and we acknowledge that there are current barriers to access and inclusion at Mohonk Preserve. We believe in an expansive definition of accessibility that includes reducing physical barriers and financial, social and other impediments to a sense of belonging.

Paradox Sports Adaptive Climbing in the Gunks by Michelle Hoffman

Key Results:

  • Mohonk Preserve staff, board members and volunteers thrive in a supportive environment that fosters mutual respect, empowerment, continual learning and meaningful collaboration and communication.
  • Mohonk Preserve visitor entrance fees are commensurate with other regional parks and protected areas, reducing barriers to access and use.
  • Mohonk Preserve’s identity as a unique and welcoming environment is evident throughout its programming, communications and facilities.
Mohonk Preserve Volunteers providing free Healthy Ulster access passes by Louis Ruidisch III

Mohonk Preserve has reliable and sustainable finances, systems and facilities.

The complexity of Mohonk Preserve’s mission, large acreage, aging infrastructure and high visitation requires reliable finances, clearly defined internal processes and systems and sustainable facilities and amenities. As a nonprofit, Mohonk Preserve relies on the generous contributions of a wide range of donors and partners. However, with limited public funding and increasing costs, financial health is a priority for long-term sustainability. A commitment to improving the reliability and sustainability of our finances is fundamentally a commitment to resilience in the face of climate change, dynamic economic conditions and shifting community needs. Importantly, long-term financial sustainability and a strong endowment will provide confidence for operations, maintenance, staffing and visitor services alike. It will also allow Mohonk Preserve to meet our important equity and access goals.

Visitor Center by Gerald Berliner

Key Results:

  • Mohonk Preserve grows our endowment to support our mission.
  • Mohonk Preserve consistently strives to achieve an annual budget surplus to sustain ongoing financial stability.
  • Mohonk Preserve optimizes our physical infrastructure and affiliated systems to reduce its contribution to climate change and become more resilient.
Testimonial Gateway Tower by Bill Winter

Banner Photo by Steve Aaron