Lime Hollow Nature Center
Covered Bridge at the Lime Hollow Visitor Center

Strategic Plan 2012-2018


Assist people in the development of environmental awareness, appreciation, knowledge, commitment and skills.


  1. Maintain, improve, and expand a system of interpretive nature trails.
  2. Improve our Visitor Center interpretive building and other facilities as possible/appropriate.
  3. Provide formal and informal environmental education programs for all ages (pre-school to seniors) that include nature walks, demonstrations, lectures, workshops and exhibits.
  4. Engage in broad-based public outreach and education through the media, public engagements, conferences, and workshops.
  5. Heighten community awareness regarding the relationship between a high quality of life and a healthy environment. Take the lead in reconnecting people and nature.
  6. Invite participation of community, academic, cultural, and professional experts in programs that allow people of all ages to experience and develop an appreciation the natural world around them through environmental enhancement and community service projects.
  7. Promote understanding of the importance of conserving and enhancing our natural surroundings for present and future generations.
  8. Develop strategies to maximize our educational impact: continued breadth programming, new depth programming for middle and high school students and teacher support in elementary science.
  9. Expand environmental education school field trips and in-school visits to accommodate more school groups throughout the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions.
  10. Partner with SUNY Cortland and develop a summer program for environmental and outdoor recreation education for teens with a focus on exploring and experiencing the natural diversity of the Finger Lakes region.
  11. Partner with OCM BOCES and the New Visions Environmental Science program to build a state-of-the-art “green” environmental education facility in the vicinity of the Visitor Center on McLean Road.
  12. Serve as Cortland County’s lead agency in employing and promoting “green” practices and technologies.



Provide low-impact, nature-based recreation opportunities.


  1. Promote recreation uses that are compatible with the biological and recreational carrying capacity of Lime Hollow.
  2. Establish Lime Hollow as one of Central New York’s premiere year-round outdoor recreation facilities.
  3. Research, build, and promote a Low Ropes Challenge Course that encourages personal
    development, teamwork, and leader development.
  4. Develop and maintain a system of trails, overlooks, and exhibits that encourage multiple uses. These include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Continue to develop the Lehigh Valley Railway Right of Way into a multi-purpose, multi-use trail network that supports hiking, running, snowmobiling, and bicycles.
  • Expand our XC skiing and snowshoeing program.
  • Partner with SUNY Cortland athletics, Tompkins Cortland Community College, local schools, and other non-profit agencies to develop regular fitness events and health-based uses for our trail system.
  • Continue to develop and improve the Kroot Art Trail and foster strong relationships to the art community.
  • Expand our “Access to All” trail system to encompass the Kroot Art Trail and connect to Lehigh Valley Trail.


Protect, through employment of conservation management techniques, the ecologically diverse and unique natural and aquifer recharge area known as Lime Hollow.


  1. Determine the current level of ecological diversity and uniqueness of Lime Hollow and produce a comprehensive inventory and management plan.
  2. Develop cooperative relationships and strategies with various agencies, businesses, government bodies, private landowners and organizations to protect the natural and cultural attributes of the Lime Hollow area.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive wetland restoration process at Gracie Pond and Baldwin Pond by eliminating non-native invasive plant species and planting native trees and plants.
  4. Continue to acquire and preserve land along the Lehigh Valley Railway Right of Way in accordance with the Cortland County Planning Department document dated August 1978 with emphasis on:
  • Acquiring that portion of Chicago Bog and its adjacent property which is included in the Finger Lakes East development project.
  • Acquiring Gracie Pond’s adjacent facilities and preserving and interpreting the site’s historical dairy and lumber mill significance.
  • Explore other preservation and land-acquisition opportunities as they arise.


Effectively develop and manage sufficient fiscal and capital resources to implement and sustain the organization's mission.


  1. Build a strong, committed, and fully involved Board of Directors.
  2. Build organizational capacity and staff capable of managing and growing programs and operations – and executing Lime Hollow’s stated mission.
  3. Increase capital and revenue streams in support of Lime Hollow’s mission, operation, and longevity through the following means:
    • Increased financial support provided by individuals
    • Increased support from community, corporate, and granting organizations
    • Increased funding from membership, programs, and gift-store operation
    • Exploration of other revenue streams and development tactics
  4. Build Lime Hollow’s endowment fund in support of programs, operations, and maintenance.
  5. Raise the visibility of Lime Hollow region-wide, in order to continue the growth of its programs, outreach, relevance, and “giving” programs.
  6. Continually seek ways to increase, demonstrate, and promote our relevance to the community (aka: meet real community needs across as much of the community as possible)
  7. Build strategic relationships, coalitions, and alliances on initiatives and issues of benefit to Lime Hollow or the furtherance of Lime Hollow’s mission.
  8. Examine the viability of creating an eco-friendly rental community that seeks to maintain and improve the economic, environmental and social characteristics of our area so its members can continue to lead healthy, productive, enjoyable lives.


Adopted by Board of Director Resolution 21 September 2011