Documents & Policies

Strategic Plan 2016-18

In February 2016 the Board of Directors updated the priorities and goals of our strategic plan, reflecting a refinement of our priorities and goals, not a wholesale shift in priorities. Our vision, mission and core values were reaffirmed. The refinement recognizes changes in community values, the evolving relationships of people and nature, and acknowledges that community partnerships play an increasingly significant role in promoting conservation. As we encourage the next generation of conservationists, this plan bolsters our core work, reaching back through four decades of protecting, enjoying, and caring for land in West Michigan.


We envision a vibrant West Michigan with natural areas preserved for future generations.


Our mission is to help people protect, enjoy, and care for natural land in West Michigan.

Core Values

Our work is grounded in the past: Our understanding and respect for our region’s natural history informs how we protect and care for our land and water.

Our work reflects the best of the present: As a nationally-accredited land trust, we use best practices and collaborate with partner organizations and communities to fulfill our mission with integrity.

Our work is inspired by the future: We are forward-thinking and passionate about preserving natural areas to enhance the quality of life in West Michigan for future generations.

Strategic Priorities

1. Implement community conservation project with strategic partners in Greater Grand Rapids – to protect land and water resources, demonstrate the relevance of conservation, and increase our visibility.

We will initiate conversations with local partners to develop criteria, identify a parcel, and launch a project.

2. Expand engagement by utilizing nature preserves and protection projects.

We will grow the diversity and number of those engaged in conservation through our protection and stewardship activities. Preserves will feature improved access, education, and volunteer opportunities. Land protection projects will feature expanded partnerships, public engagement, and support.

3. Communicate compelling stories and messages that raise visibility and invite participation and support.

Through events, partnerships, and multiple print and electronic media channels, we will better connect with supporters and the public as we promote the importance of conservation to our quality of life.

4. Build the financial strength and sustainability of the Land Conservancy.

We will expand the base of active supporters, increasing support from individuals, business and foundation partners, and attention to planned giving and long-term funding.

 5. Build organizational capacity.

We will continue to develop multiple revenue streams in order to invest in staff, education, and technology that support our work. Directors will intentionally cultivate diverse community connections.

This plan requires regular progress reviews and refinement of priorities and goals to maintain our mission and strategy focus and to push the boundaries of our thinking outward.

Diversity Statement

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan recognizes that fostering diversity and inclusion creates an atmosphere where all individuals are recognized for their uniqueness. Our passion for preserving and protecting land seeks to provide individuals of all races, religions, ages, genders, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual preferences or orientations, medical conditions or disabilities, with access to nature in West Michigan, and encourages engagement for all and the exclusion of none.

From an organizational perspective, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan promotes an inclusive environment that values and encourages diversity at the volunteer level, on our staff, and on our Board. We continually strive to increase that diversity and are committed to ensuring this philosophy is embodied in the very fabric of our organization.

From a strategic perspective, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan’s values include active engagement of people through urban, suburban, and rural conservation, and specifically encompass initiatives that reach underserved or at-risk populations who might not otherwise have access or exposure to the well-established benefits of nature.

We understand that true diversity is a journey, not a destination, and the Board and staff of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan are committed to the diligence, persistence, and intentionality required to make that journey a success.


Restrictions may be placed on gifts by the donor for specific programs, purposes, or length of time, provided that such restricted gifts are consistent with the mission, purposes and priorities of the Land Conservancy.

The Land Conservancy will endeavor to honor donor intent and use gifts consistent with the stated purpose. If the original purpose for a gift can no longer be fulfilled, the Board of Directors retains the authority to re-purpose or un-restrict a gift consistent with the mission, purposes and priorities of the Land Conservancy.

The Land Conservancy will not accept gifts that are too restrictive in purpose, including, but not limited to, gifts inconsistent with the mission, purpose and priorities of the organization, gifts that violate its governing principles, or gifts that are too cumbersome to administer.

Gifts restricted by a donor’s ongoing control are not eligible for a charitable deduction under the Internal Revenue Code, and shall not be accepted.
Please contact the Land Conservancy for a complete copy of the Gift Policy.

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