We are a relatively new organization, but there are places we want to go and things we want to do! Below is a list of priorities that we have identified – a list we hope will be our roadmap for growing into an influential voice for wilderness in the Adirondacks.
If you are looking to help contribute to AWA, please review this list carefully, as there may be upcoming programs and efforts that might suit your interests.
(Updated January 2021)
- Seek ways to expand our donor base. Isn’t this the goal of every organization? We began as a small, grass-roots campaign, but as a registered 501(c)(3) we now have recurring expenses and ambitious dreams, just like everyone else. Our ability to raise funds will impact our ability to accomplish many of the other items on this list.
- Increase / sustain our social media presence. One of our main tools for communicating with our followers has been our Facebook page, which rocketed to over 3600 followers in its first year. In 2021 we will begin to increase our presence on Twitter and Instagram as well.
- Expand board to include a variety of backgrounds and expertise, including legal, scientific, and technical expertise. This is a critical step, as we need the expertise to accomplish many of these other goals. We are currently recruiting new board members with a variety of backgrounds to help us grow into a knowledgeable and respected authority on wilderness.
- Grow the AWA website into an informative, entertaining, and well-read resource. Expect to find a larger variety of wilderness-themed essays on our Wild Thoughts page this year. If you are a writer who would like to contribute, please check out our Submissions Guidelines.
- Identify and engage in projects where AWA can provide meaningful input. We want to make a difference! This means not simply chasing the “issue du jour” but identifying those topics where our experience and insight brings something new to the discussion, and then working until positive outcomes are achieved. This will be an ongoing process.
- Seek to develop opportunities for volunteerism. We are a board-driven organization, but we could multiply our influence by identifying ways in which motivated volunteers can participate in our projects. This will require both creativity and organization!
- Investigate the possibility of establishing / implementing a recreational wing, in which AWA leaders organize group outings. In addition to talking about wilderness and advocating on its behalf, we think there is value in helping people connect with the outdoors as well. This could mean recreational outings conducted by experienced AWA leaders, but it could also mean introducing people to the areas for which we are speaking up, as well as work trips to maintain trails and campsites. One concern is financial; we cannot proceed with this goal until we can sustainably fund a liability insurance policy.
- Investigate the possibility of establishing / implementing a publishing wing of AWA, in which we produce printed publications that celebrate/educate on Adirondack wilderness subject matter. Websites and social media pages are great, but these are not the only areas in which we want to excel. To foster knowledge of and appreciation for the Adirondack wilderness, we would like to produce print and digital books that promote our ideals. Getting started will require identifying an adequate funding source, among other concerns.
- Growing AWA into a recognized authority on wilderness management. Well, obviously, right? We’re off to a good start, but this is no time to rest on past successes. Everything on this list is intended to promote this goal, in one way or another.
- Achieving participation on relevant stakeholder boards, to ensure input is provided at critical stages of project development. This one might sound abstract, but we’ve identified this as one of our primary targets. You may recall we began as a citizen campaign to promote an all-wilderness classification for the Boreas Ponds Tract in the High Peaks region. We turned heads with that effort, but in truth the fate of Boreas Ponds had been settled years before in “stakeholder meetings” conducted by a select number of groups. If we are to succeed in influencing future land purchases, we need to be seen as a credible stakeholder in Adirondack Forest Preserve matters. Our seat on the High Peaks Advisory Group suggests we’re on the right track, thus the importance in identifying our priorities and sticking to them.