Friday, March 02, 2012

Strategic Plan Success

The nomination for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Gold Metal asked for a summary of your agency's Strategic Plan progress. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority adopted its current 5 year plan in December of 2007. This document has been the guiding force behind most of our efforts since then. It is widely viewed as an extremely successful Strategic Plan. Below is a very condensed summary of our results.

Currently NVRPA is working on developing a new Strategic Plan to lead us for the next five years.

In 2007, NVRPA adopted an ambitous and visionary 5 year Strategic Plan. In developing this plan, a park needs study was conducted by Leisure Vision. This survey of park needs was done in partnership with several of the six local governments that are member jurisdictions.

Goal One: Increase, Maintain and Enhance Conservation of Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources.

We have added 461 acres of new parkland since 2007:

• 88 acres – Mosby Run Property purchased in 2008

• 66 acres – PEC property at Gilbert’s Corner leased in 2008

• 7 acres – Mt. Zion Historic Park acquired in 2009

• 1 acre – Knipling Property at Pohick Bay donated in 2009

• 295 acres – White's Ford Property purchased in 2010

• 4 acres – Along the W&OD Trail between 2007 - 2011

Three new trail connections have been created to support the plan goals.

55% of our park management staff have received additional training in natural resource management in the last 5 years.

Goal Two: Expand and Improve Recreational Facilities to Meet Northern Virginia’s Population Needs. Expand and adapt current facilities to better meet the needs of our diverse population.

We have renovated and themed all 5 of our waterparks, resulting in doubling and sometime tripling the annual attendance of these facilties. Numerous other park facilities have been rennovated or repurposed to better serve the population. A policy was adopted to invest at least 25% of end-of-year net revenues into capital maintenance for further improvements, resulting in over $2 million in new capital.

Goal Three: Enhance and Expand Opportunities for Cultural and Environmental Interpretation and Education.

Every park is now a place of learning. 5 of our parks have SOL based educational programs. We implemented an innovative Roving Naturalist Program and expanded nature summer camps. We created a one-of-a-kind energy focused Nature Center and played a leading role in the region in commemorating the American Civil War.

Goal Four: Develop Mechanisms for Sustainable Financing.

Over the last five years, we have added over $3 million in new enterprise revenues, an increase of over 30%. This far exceeds our stated goal of having enterprise revenues expand at least 2% above the inflation rate.

Goal Five: Increase Public Awareness and Recognition of NVRPA’s role in the Region.

Over the last five years, our annual investment in marketing has increased by 400%. We have gone from a very passive government model of providing public information for those who seek it out, to marketing our facilities like a private business would.

Goal Six: Provide Exceptional Leadership for NVRPA.

The hallmarks of these efforts include development and implementation of the strategic plan as the central guiding document of the organization, employee achievement awards and volunteer recognition.

No comments: