Friends-to-Friends Workshop Series

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Join us for a series of workshops designed to support grassroots Friends groups through the sharing of best-practices, innovative programming and collaboration. This series will feature panelists on a variety of topics designed to increase the capacity and impact of grassroots organizations and provide opportunities for Friends to network and share resources. This Summer-Fall 2021 series is available to all Friends of New York State Parks and Historic Sites.

Upcoming Workshop

The Natural Heritage Trust: What Is It and What Does it Mean for Friends? Thursday, September 23 @ 4PM

This third workshop in our 2021 Friends-to-Friends Series will explore the Natural Heritage Trust, whose mission is to receive and administer gifts, grants and contributions to further public programs for parks, recreation, cultural, land and water conservation and historic preservation purposes of the State of New York.

The NHT is dedicated to building and sustaining relationships with organizations that share mission compatible goals and purposes--including Friends Groups--and during this workshop, we will explore this relationship further and find out what possibilities are available to Friends through this partnership.

This workshop will feature insights from Sally Drake, Executive Director of the Natural Heritage Trust, plus a wealth of resources and a peer Q&A session!

Save the dates: topics for following workshops to be determined

Thursday, October 21st @ 4PM

Thursday, November 18th @ 4PM

Thursday, December 16th @ 4PM

Previous Workshops and Resources

Updating & Maximizing Your MOA with State Parks: June 24th

Updating & Maximizing your MOA with State Parks- Thursday, June 24th @ 4PM

Every 5 years, Friends groups affiliated with New York State Parks are required to update their MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with OPRHP. Whether your organization is due for a renewal this year, or in the near future, there are new requirements for your next application.

This first workshop in our 2021 series will dive into best-practices and tips for updating and maximizing your MOA with State Parks. Specifically, we will look at the requirement that groups submit a 5-year plan including tips, templates and valuable strategies for communicating your vision with the park or site manager, and the broader community.

This workshop will feature insights from Shari Calnero, Associate Counsel at the New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as well as Andy Fyfe, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at State Parks plus a wealth of resources, and a peer Q&A session!


Engaging, Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers: Best Practices, July 22nd, 2021

Engaging, Recruiting & Retaining Volunteers: Best-Practices-Thursday, July 22nd @ 4PM

With warmer weather and longer days upon us, it is likely that your Park or Site is welcoming more visitors. Year after year, more people are exploring New York’s iconic park system and realizing, perhaps for the first time, the importance of these resources. For Friends—Summer presents the perfect opportunity to capitalize on this interest and turn visitors into volunteers.

This second workshop in our 2021 Friends-to-Friends Series will dive into best-practices for engaging, recruiting, and retaining volunteers. We will explore tips and peer-approved examples for capturing visitors’ interest in your site and programming—igniting their desire to get involved, creating successful and worthwhile volunteer opportunities, and maintaining those volunteers over time.

This workshop will feature insights from Adam Bartoszek. Adam is the Director of VolunteerWNY at The Service Collaborative. He has spent over 10 years working in the volunteer management & development realm. He is a co-founder of YNPN Greater Buffalo and serves on the WNYHOA (Western New York Hockey Officials Association) Board of Directors. He completed his Masters in Public Administration at SUNY State University of New York College at Buffalo and is a proud AmeriCorps Alum.

We will also be sharing a wealth of resources and hosting a curated discussion and peer Q&A session!