Robert H. Treman State Park
For more than 25 years, The Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park have helped maintain and promote the rich heritage and natural beauty of Robert H. Treman State Park south of Ithaca. Looking to the future, the group sought to use a $1,723 PTNY Growing the Grassroots grant to produce a brochure aimed at doubling the number of members and volunteers to help sustain their future efforts. Yet, the seemingly straightforward task of designing a brochure engaged the Friends of Robert H. Treman State Park in unexpected ways, causing a rethinking of the organization and its relationship to the park.
As the Friends viewed the brochure as more than just a piece of paper listing the ways to get involved, discussion of its content forced members to assess the organization’s strengths and decide where to concentrate future volunteer efforts. Though the group’s volunteerism has traditionally focused on preserving and promoting the park’s history, archeology, and mill museum, members realized they could also expand their efforts to include the natural history and environmental issues facing the park.
According to Sherene Baugher, Friends Trustee and Grant Supervisor, “The grant did way more than simply pay for a brochure — it really helped our organization to rethink our direction and goals. For this we are very grateful.”