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ELA Strategic Plan 2017-2022

Since its founding in 1992, the Ecological Landscape Alliance has been a leader in promoting sustainable approaches to landscape design, construction, and management. ELA’s commitment to innovative ideas and evidence-based practices has made the organization both a trusted resource and a vibrant community of landscape professionals and devoted gardeners.

ELA works in partnership with local, regional, and national organizations to provide high-quality education that brings together diverse audiences united by a shared sense of purpose. ELA’s members and participants include designers, horticulturalists, growers, and manufacturers; conservationists, restoration ecologists, and wetland scientists; community activists and home gardeners; and landscape stewards for public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

Twenty-five years after its founding, ELA continues to grow. Our programs now reach participants in thirty-seven states and nine other countries. In the last decade, we have collaborated with over sixty-five allied organizations, launched a popular webinar series, led in nine states, expanded our annual conference, and created new symposia in Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Just as important, ELA’s reach extends beyond its direct audience. By providing a platform for the dissemination and development of new techniques, ELA has helped ecological approaches move from the fringe to the mainstream.

Despite this progress, our work has never been more important. Even as climate change, invasive organisms, habitat loss, and declines among native species are presenting new challenges, advances in science are creating new frameworks for constructive action. By fostering lively exchanges of scientific information and hands-on experience, ELA can play a unique role in creating a world where every person is a forward-thinking and well-informed steward of the land and water.

ELA initiated its Strategic Planning process to help align ELA’s growth with its established strengths and values, and in recognition that our ethos of sustainability must extend to the organization itself. We are proud of what we have achieved as a volunteer-driven organization with a staff of one, but our long-term resilience requires a broader structure.

The combined purpose of advancing ELA’s mission and building its capabilities is reflected in the Strategic Goals that have guided this plan: to develop and expand our high-quality, evidence-based educational offerings; to build a robust and highly engaged membership, to continue expanding ELA’s audience, and to build awareness of ELA’s vital work.

ELA is excited to present its 2017-2022 Strategic Plan to our members, supporters, and allied organizations.