Alfred Godfrey led a day-long, full-board retreat for the Trail Foundation in the role of facilitator. The goal was to engage the board in a strategic discussion on the topic of moving TTF to a conservancy model. TTF is currently a projects-based organization that builds projects with privately-raised money and then turns them over to Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department for maintenance and operation. Under a conservancy model, TTF would not only build the projects, but would stay engaged in an ongoing M&O role. Also, with the conservancy model, TTF could expand its grounds keeping and ecological enhancement portfolio throughout the Lady Bird Lake corridor. Key to the success of such a transition would be a formal agreement with the City.
The session featured remarks by Kimberly McNeely, acting Director of the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, a presentation by TTF ecologist, Leslie Libby and a presentation by Tim Marshall with ETM Associates, a nationally-recognized landscape planning firm that specializes in guiding organizations toward the conservancy model. Mr. Godfrey led group discussions that identified critical decision factors, weighed risks and opportunities and considered a phased approach. To conclude the session, a board survey was conducted that served as the basis for further action toward the conservancy model.