James Pinsky: Our new strategic plan

James Pinsky

The Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District knows saving the world can be a challenge. That’s why we have a plan. Known officially as our strategic plan, this focused, direct and forecasting document gives our staff, board and our customers a simple, concise and sincere roadmap to who we are, what we do and why we do it.

Well aware of our ever-changing world, we constantly review and improve our plan to better match our capabilities with the current needs of our community. In fact, beginning in July, our newest strategic plan goes into effect after a six month review of our services and our customers.

Here’s our plan:

Our vision: Productive soil and water for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.

Our mission: To conserve, protect, and enhance the quality of our region’s soil and water.

To realize our vision and complete our mission we have identified four goals for our organization.

GOAL 1: Strengthen the Capacity of the District by Improving Its Organizational Efficiency and Effectiveness

• Ensure the appropriate level of representation of local jurisdictions by directors and associate directors.

• Ensure the appropriate level of technical staff to support district’s work load.

• Provide for the continuing education and training of board members and staff, in conjunction with the VASWCD Educational Foundation, and other partner organizations.

• Improve the use of committees to develop and manage specific initiatives.

• Develop and implement concepts, tools, and technologies to improve district efficiency and effectiveness.

GOAL 2: Maintain and enhance a district advocacy plan

• Support the VASWCD annual legislative priorities.

• Maintain effective relationships with federal, state, and local government decision makers.

• Advocate within the district on SWCD member approved policies.

• Develop and maintain State and local partnerships to promote District mission.

GOAL 3: Increase and Stabilize LFSWCD Funding

• Work collaboratively with state and local governments to increase the district’s funding streams equitably.

• Identify grants and other sources of financial assistance to support the district’s work.

GOAL 4: Strengthen the Capacity of the District to Effectively Address the Soil & Water Conservation Needs of Our Communities

• Strengthen existing partnerships, and develop new ones to support the work of the district.

• Develop and evaluate public relations initiatives to enhance awareness and value of district activities.

• Sponsor and promote district recognition programs.

• Support and develop programs that educate and involve all members of the community in the work of the district.

• Develop, share and implement an annual plan of work.

Here’s some background on who we are and how we came to be. We were organized under the authority of the Soil Conservation District Law as passed by the Virginia General Assembly of 1938, the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District is responsible for activities in the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah and Warren, and in the City of Winchester in support of our mission.

Virginia provides funds to the district and establishes requirements for agricultural and urban best management practices to carry out our conservation activities. Local counties also provide limited funds for the district’s work, and the district seeks grants and other financial assistance when possible. Residents of the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District should note the Commonwealth of Virginia supports the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District through financial and administrative assistance provided by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The District also receives financial and administrative support from the Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren, and the City of Winchester.

In cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, state and local governments, and private organizations, the district’s professional staff, directors, and associate directors’ work with landowners who want to undertake best management practices. The district provides educational programs targeting both youth and adults to promote ecologically sound use of land and water resources. The fistrict is also responsible for the operation and management of two dams, both located in Basye.

For more information about us, please visit us at www.lfswcd.org.

James Pinsky is the education and information coordinator for the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District. Contact him at 540.465.2424, ext. 104, or james.pinsky@lfswcd.org. Visit us at www.lfswcd.org or follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/lfswcd