Paths Forward- A Message From The Friends Board

‘Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood….’ a line from a Robert Frost poem that addresses a traveler considering their options.  I bring this up because first, I like the poem, second we are at a crossroads for the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. Janelle McCoy, our executive director, has decided it is time to pursue another path. Janelle lead Friends at a challenging time, then the Pandemic hit the world, creating far more challenges. During this time Janelle advocated for the park and our broader conservation area as well as the volunteers, members and staff. As with any challenging experience, one tends to reflect and reevaluate their priorities.  Janelle has chosen to spend more time on her property with her animals as her passion.

The path for Friends is ‘grassy and wanted wear’ as Frost would say. We will be continuing forward in our efforts to reunify the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah with The Mount Pisgah Arboretum. The goal is to be one larger non-profit, working to benefit the community we serve.

While we work on the Reunion, both organizations have committed to a process referred to as a strategic alliance. This process consists of finding shared projects and systems that will benefit both our collective and the community. Our current Trail Accessibility project is one of such projects, intended to increase accessibility of our trails to the broader public.

The Friends Board has also decided to move the annual meeting to a time in late summer, which is similar to the time the Arboretum has its annual meeting. As we work to conjoin the organizations, we seek other strategic plans that allow for a more fluid transition of two separate entities into one.

The Lane County Parks levy that was recently passed suggests that the residents of Lane County do wish to take care of their parks, of which Howard Buford Recreation Area is the largest of the 66 parks in the county. That funding will be very beneficial to the park, and becomes accessible in 2024.  

With all that is going on, we ask you to support our endeavors now more than ever.  That support may be financially backing operations, joining a volunteer effort such as on trails or in the nursery, or finding other aspects that either organization can benefit from your talents.  As Frost ends his poem “that has made all  the difference.” We truly thank you for your support, it does make all the difference.

Stephen Moore

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