Districts need strong board leadership to function effectively.
District Vision and Mission
The board develops and adopts the vision and mission of the conservation district.
- The board develops and approves the District’s Strategic Long Range plan and should revisit the plan periodically.
- The board communicates the vision and mission to the staff and community through both internal and external communications.
- The board is responsible for ensuring implementation of a dynamic strategic long range plan and ensuring consistency of district programs and activities with the ongoing strategic long range plan.
Leadership of Board Members
Board provides clear leadership to staff and the conservation district clients by:
- Active attendance and participation at Board meetings, on committees and through district programs and other district activities
- Understanding of who are the district’s clients and what are their needs
- The development of policy decisions that prove clear guidance on district functions and programs
Board members should communicate the districts message to the community and the community’s message to the Board.
Clear Roles and Expectations of Board Members
- Provide a clear director training plan
- Orientation and mentoring for new directors
- Director Handbook
- Job description
- Board self-evaluations
Board members not only need to be cognizant of the legal ethical requirements of a public official but also embody a sound conservation ethic for the resources they manage.
- Actions and decisions must be consistent with the Pennsylvania Public Official and Employee Ethics Act.
- Directors are in the public eye and should set an example for the community.
Strategic Long Range Planning
The board should ensure implementation of a dynamic strategic long range plan.
- A board that is able to analyze the social/economic landscape and knows when and how to implement change
- A board should ensure consistency of district program and activities with the ongoing strategic long range plan.
The Board and the Bigger Picture
The board must provide a ‘bigger-picture’ perspective:
- Knowledge of the roots of the Conservation District
- Knowledge of regional, state and national conservation programs, policies and issues
- Participation in Regional, State and National associations
- Awareness and understanding of the roles of state and national natural resources agencies
Board Ownership of Programs
Board members should recognize they have a common ownership of all district programs.
- Understand the purpose and function of the programs the district is involved with in relation to the strategic plan.
- Understand the benefits and challenges of all district programs.
A board that is able to analyze the social/economic landscape knows when and how to implement change.
- Defined set of meeting procedure and rules
- Appropriate board, staff, partner and public participation
- Transparency by ensuring that the Sunshine and Right to Know Acts are followed
- Adequate meeting space
- Awareness that the board is making public decisions
- Adheres to laws appropriate to public meetings (Sunshine, Ethics Act, & Right to Know, etc.)
- Organized agenda with supporting documentation
- Decisions based on adequate information
- Accurate board meeting minutes