Shirley Heinze Land Tr, Inc.

Valparaiso, IN   |  www.heinzetrust.org

Mission

To protect habitats and ecosystems of Northwest Indiana through acquiring, restoring, and protecting environmentally significant landscapes for present and future generations, and to inspire and educate people of all ages about the value of land conservation to protect our natural world and enrich our lives.

Ruling year info

2003

Executive Director

Mr. Kristopher Krouse

Main address

109 West 700 North

Valparaiso, IN 46385 USA

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Formerly known as

Shirley Heinze Environmental Fund

EIN

35-2153969

NTEE code info

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

Environmental Beautification (C50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Since 1981, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has worked to preserve, protect and restore significant natural areas in northwestern Indiana and to educate, inspire and invite the public to experience the natural wonders of this unique region. Shirley Heinze Land Trust nature preserves, currently consisting of more than 2,488 acres throughout Lake, Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties, reflect the entire spectrum of northwestern Indiana's rich and significant natural communities, including tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat. Shirley Heinze actively manages these sites, and provides educational programs for people of all ages.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Land Acquisition and Protection

Shirley Heinze Land Trust has protected more than 2,400 acres of natural land in Lake Porter, LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties, creating safe havens for plants and animals, improving the quality of the air and water, and providing recreational opportunities for the communities served.

Population(s) Served

A major component of land stewardship is restoration, the process of returning deteriorated land to its natural state.

Population(s) Served

The Mighty Acorns program, created in partnership with the Dunes Learning Center and The Field Museum, provides comprehensive educational programming for children in grades 3 though 12. We also engage the public with our popular Educational Hike Series and Bus Tours. Hikes and bus tours are held across the region from Michigan to Illinois.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Land Trust Alliance 2017

2018 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in Land/Use Conservation 2018

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

As part of a five- year strategic plan (Strategic Plan), which was adopted for the years 2016-2020, four primary growth areas have been identified:

1) financial strength,
2) organizational strength,
3) programs, and
4) partnerships.

Within these areas, specific goals have been established, to:

1) permanently protect 3,000 acres;
2) achieve national accreditation
3) expand public access and amenities at preserves;
4) increase the number of environmental education hours delivered;
5) triple volunteer participation;
6) build long-term financial strength.

The Strategic Plan (referenced above) defines organizational growth and sets organizational priorities. These priorities have been broken down into measurable goals, which are overseen by seven working committees. Each committee is chaired by one or more Board members. The committees meet consistently throughout the year, and are attended by one or more staff members. At each meeting, committee members review the progress made toward each committee goal. Goals are set annually, and all goals for all committees are reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee and Executive Director.

To lead the implementation of our strategies, Shirley Heinze Land Trust has seven full-time and three part-time employees. These employees engage with board members and advisory board members as appropriate to move strategies forward.

The Shirley Heinze Land Trust Board is composed of diversely talented, engaged, and invested individuals who participate in working committees: executive, finance, fundraising, board development, programs, land strategy and marketing and communications.

Each committee, in collaboration with the Executive Committee and Executive Director, establishes annual (committee) goals and strategies to, collectively, meet Shirley Heinze's broader organizational priorities.

The Executive Committee, which meets regularly with the Executive Director, guides staff and all crucial organizational decisions for Shirley Heinze. The committee monitors the goals of all other committees.

The Finance Committee focuses on growing operating cash income, establishing financial visibility and metrics, and overseeing the fundraising program.

The Fundraising Committee develops strategies for growing all aspects of fundraising, to support organizational and programmatic growth.

The Board Development Committee focuses on developing and retaining current Board members and recruiting new talent. The committee identifies and evaluates prospective members for both the Board and Advisory Council and makes recommendations to the Executive Committee.

The Programs Committee provides professional guidance to the stewardship team, oversees the volunteer program, supports environmental education programming, and helps to coordinate speaking engagements and other outreach efforts.

The Land Strategy Committee develops, implements and advances conservation strategies. The committee oversees the acquisition of property and helps to establish relationships with municipalities and public officials (including advancing green infrastructure planning in urban environments). The committee also sets site specific restoration and maintenance goals, prioritizes core areas, and develops an interagency strike team to manage sites within specific project areas.

The Marketing and Communications Committee supports and promotes programs and events. The committee is working to develop a tone and style guide for all levels of communication within and outside of the organization.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust's Advisory Council consists of community members who are best situated to help us build connections with local, regional and national communities. The Advisory Council meets annually and provides valuable community input and advice.

Further, Shirley Heinze has a dedicated volunteer base that assists with a wide variety of activities. The number of volunteers and the level of volunteer engagement has grown significantly since the retention of the Volunteer Coordinator. A select group of volunteers are identified and trained as site stewards to help staff maintain healthy habitats and safe trails at the preserves.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust has achieved the ambitious goals set forth in the 2016-2020 strategic plan and adopted a new strategic plan for 2020-2024 in January. Currently, our Board and Committees are developing work plans for advancing the new goals and strategies.

The organization continues to make great strides in protecting northwestern Indiana’s natural lands and waters.

In October 2018, Shirley Heinze Land Trust was presented with the National Excellence Award and our conservation work was highlighted at the national conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

Thirteen of Shirley Heinze's nature preserves are publicly accessible and contain more than 17 miles of trails. Preserve and interpretive signage, parking lot and trail improvements are a top priority. In the spring of 2018, kayak and boat launches for paddling down the Little Calumet River were be installed. Benches continue to be installed at sites which are best suited for birding and nature watching. Shirley Heinze developed Master Plans for two of its nature preserves to enhance public access and grow environmental learning opportunities and programs.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust provides environmental education to people of all ages. As a partner of the Northwest Indiana Environmental Education partnership, we facilitates field trips and provide environmental education programming to over 3,000 3rd – 5th grade students. Throughout the year, we host citizen science workshops, guided hikes, and bird banding demonstrations.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust has a strong volunteer program. We host weekly volunteer opportunities such as winter seed cleaning, spring plant propagation, and native gardening opportunities. In addition, we host coordinated (project-based) volunteer workdays throughout the year at our various nature preserves.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust has a robust stewardship program. We have three full-time staff members, seasonal employees, and summer interns who execute the management plans that have been developed for each of our nature preserves. Staff remove invasive plants, plant native plants, conduct reforestation projects, and use tools such as prescribed burns to restore the nature preserves’ biological diversity.
Shirley Heinze Land Trust is piloting new projects for the 2020-2024 strategic plan. Shirley Heinze is establishing new and strengthening existing partnerships to be more inclusive and better engage our diverse communities. In addition, the organization is pilot

Financials

Shirley Heinze Land Tr, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Shirley Heinze Land Tr, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/19/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Kelly Carmichael

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes