Strategic Plan

Where Earth and people meet

A Strategic Plan for Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College, 2024-2027

In alignment with the mission and vision of Goshen College, Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College strives to be a catalyst for positive change by fostering and empowering courageous, creative and compassionate environmentally minded leaders. Through pursuit of our mission, we contribute to a biologically diverse and sustainable planet for the benefit of future generations.

Aspiration 1: Transformative education programs

Transformative education programs at Merry Lea integrate academic excellence with real-world application within a place-based environmental context, providing indelible learning opportunities for people of all ages.

  • Continue to deliver high quality, nature-based education and professional development programs
  • Seek deeper and broader engagement with current and new audiences, especially from northeast Indiana and underserved communities therein
  • Utilize constituent data and pedagogical assessment strategies to ensure that our programs remain relevant and of the highest quality
  • Expand onsite research opportunities, especially for students from Goshen College and other academic institutions, that serve as hands-on learning experiences and improve our understanding of our land and the life that it harbors

Aspiration 2: Responsibly stewarded resources

Responsibly stewarded resources, including native habitat, sustainable infrastructure, a teaching farm, diverse personnel and adequate finances, provide spaces, context and the means to pursue our mission

  • Develop and implement plans, policies and procedures that increase operational efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, clarity and accountability
  • Diversify and expand our funding sources to increase our fiscal resilience
  • Grow a culture of volunteerism within our organization and broaden volunteer engagement to increase our capacity to pursue our mission

Aspiration 3: Authentically collaborative partnerships

Authentically collaborative partnerships with colleagues and programs within the Goshen College community and with external organizations increase our capacity to pursue our mission and amplify our impact.

  • Seek innovation by working cooperatively across Merry Lea program areas, building on our common goals and values
  • Pursue mutually beneficial partnerships with academic departments and programs throughout the Goshen College community that will increase undergraduate student engagement with Merry Lea
  • Strive to increase our connectivity with, and capacity to serve, communities throughout northeast Indiana, especially those in Noble and Allen Counties

Aspiration 4: A vibrant workplace community

A vibrant workplace community is a place where mission-driven, broadly diverse employees thrive in response to a culture of trust, transparency and clarity of purpose and process.

  • Promote and facilitate professional excellence for all employees
  • Strategically engage diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives to create a welcoming and safe workplace
  • Build a culture of employee appreciation and satisfaction by celebrating the contributions that every team member makes to the pursuit of our mission and continually seeking ways to care for ourselves and each other