On behalf of our board and staff, I have the joyous privilege of announcing a number of exciting changes we have made that reflect the evolution of our organization and will engage more people in the movement to protect our local natural environment. These changes are a culmination of 18 months of intensive listening and planning with focus groups, donors, key partners, board members, advisory board members, and staff.
Before I detail the changes, let me be clear about what hasn’t changed. We remain committed to protecting the region’s open space, farmland, and natural resources. Protecting nature is not just a concept, it is a necessity. It is the air people breathe, the water people drink, a source of our physical and mental well being, and adaptation to climate change. If we protect the planet’s land, biodiversity, and ecosystem health, it will lay the path for climate resilience.
The Changes We’ve Made
A New Name: We are now Green Foothills. After serving the community as “Committee for Green Foothills” since 1962, our new name expresses that we are no longer the group of volunteers we were at our founding but the professionally-staffed advocacy organization you know today.
A New Logo: A symbol of our work. The shield shape of our new logo represents how we are the first line of defense for our region’s open space, farmland, and natural resources. The image contained within the shield symbolizes the many natural resources and landscapes we protect: grasslands, Bay, coast, creeks, forests, farmland, and urban green space.
Our New Website: Enhancing communications and transparency. While you can still visit us at www.greenfoothills.org, that’s about the only thing that remains the same. The new site has received a much-needed facelift, is mobile friendly, easier to navigate, and better communicates our impact and current work. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Marketing Manager, Leslie Lopez Holder, who led the charge on this project.
We’ve paired the website launch with a transition to a new Customer Relationship Management system in the next two months, so that we can create customized and more responsive experiences with you across our communications platforms.
2020-2025 Strategic Plan: Prioritizing greater impact and inclusivity. Through the implementation of our recently adopted 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, we are committing to achieving and demonstrating even greater impact on our mission through our Advocacy Program and our Leadership Academy Program. This means saving more land for wildlife habitat, increasing access to experiences in nature close to home, and empowering more elected officials and community leaders to champion our mission.
Our strategic plan for the next five years details three key priorities:
- Deepen and demonstrate impact,
- Grow a more diverse and inclusive movement, and
- Build and cultivate an even more effective organization.
As we look toward celebrating our 60th year in 2022, these priorities celebrate our deep history, reflect our growth, and set a clear path of where we are going. Most importantly, they are grounded in our core belief that protecting open space and nature is vital to all people.
Revised Mission Statement: For the benefit of all. Green Foothills’ Board of Directors added “for the benefit of all” to our mission statement to highlight that every person and species depend upon the planet as our life-support system. The updated mission statement now reads as “To protect the open spaces, farmlands, and natural resources of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties for the benefit of all through advocacy, education, and grassroots action.”
While Green Foothills’ focus is protecting our small corner of the planet, this updated mission statement—now more than ever—reflects our desire for the region to be a model for sustainability and climate resilience.
Our First Vision Statement: A reflection of our core philosophy. This core philosophy outlined in our new Strategic Plan is embodied in our first vision statement: “We envision a resilient region where wildlife thrive, everyone has natural beauty to enjoy, and communities live in balance with nature.”
By 2040, we envision San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties as a model for a region that thrives as a result of land-use decisions made in balance with and respect for nature. We see functional and healthy forest, coastal, bay, stream, hillside, and urban green space ecosystems providing invaluable ecological services and habitat for native plants and wildlife. We see accessible and safe landscapes offering nature-based recreational opportunities, readily enjoyable and close to home. We see everyone benefiting from this enhanced environment, particularly those in previously underserved communities. We see the public, private, and nonprofit sectors actively supporting sustainability and climate resilience through equitable and inclusive nature-based planning processes.
Our First Values Statement: It’s EPIC. A values statement is a set of beliefs and principles that guide decision making and culture. If our vision statement is the “Why” and our mission statement is the “What,” a values statement is the “How.” Green Foothills’ values are:
- Expertise: We advocate based on knowledge and experience.
- Persistence: We pursue our vision courageously and resolutely.
- Integrity: We accomplish our mission with ethical and thoughtful action.
- Camaraderie: We are inclusive and collaborative.
As a board member pointed out, their acronym – EPIC – fittingly reflects our long history of accomplishments and our future trajectory.
All of these changes fill me with confidence about Green Foothills’ future and the positive impact we will make together in the coming years. I am prouder than ever to be a part of Green Foothills. I hope you are too.