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This report summarizes the findings from a strategic planning process conducted by the Virginia Master Naturalist program in 2013-2014. The process involved three steps: a comprehensive needs assessment to identify program needs, strategic planning workshops to identify initiatives for addressing those needs, and online voting to prioritize proposed initiatives. The needs assessment provided evidence of the significant and positive impacts the program is having on its volunteers and the state through natural resource education and conservation. Its findings also showed rapid growth of the program since its inception in 2005. The level of growth demonstrates the overall success of the program but also poses some significant challenges as the program prepares for the future. Primary challenges include increasing administrative burdens placed on chapter volunteers, ensuring adequate volunteer support from the state office, " and ensuring adequate oversight associated with risk management and other program policies. The program approaches these challenges in the midst of declining state and federal budgets.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
April 9, 2015