Accomplish Your Goals

Mission, Goals & Objectives

When starting a park group, it is important to have a clear sense of both your overarching mission and the goals for both your park and for your group.

What Is Your Group’s Mission?
A group’s overarching mission reflects a set of core beliefs and assumptions that define the need for the organization and the results it expects to achieve. A mission:

-Reflects a purpose and vision.
-Articulates a group’s basic beliefs and assumptions.

Very often parks groups incorporate one or more of these three things into their mission:

-Physically Improving the Park: from cleaning and planting to major renovations
-Programming in the Park: hosting regular and special events, from concerts to a day camp
-Increasing/Improving Park Usership: Bringing children into a playground, or school groups into a natural area, or dog lovers into a dog run.

Taking the time to develop a mission statement will help your group articulate its purpose, and focus its ideas. According to Ron Meshanko of Ecumenical Resource Consultants inc., a group’s mission statement “should be a one-sentence, clear, concise statement that says who the [group] is, what it does, for whom and where. Period!”

Example: "The friends of Lovely Park is a community-based organization providing social, educational, and multicultural after-school programming for high school students in Lovely Park, and the surrounding community of Jamaica, NY.”

What Is Your Group’s Goal?

A goal is the purpose toward which an endeavor (your project) is directed, and focuses your group’s work to reflect the larger overarching mission. A good goal is:

-Visionary—it should offer an image of the state you are trying to achieve.
-General—it should be defined broadly enough to encompass all the activities you will do in trying to achieve it.
-Brief—simple, succinct, and easy to remember and understand.

Example: To create and support a sustainable coalition of partners for Lovely Park that will raise money, hold events, and act as advocates for the park with minimal support from government agencies.

What Are Your Group’s Objectives?

Objectives measure particular outcomes or accomplishments of a project. Ideally the accomplishment of each objective brings you one step closer to the achievement of the project’s goal. A good objective is:

-Impact-oriented—do not describe a process, but represent desired changes in particular factors.
-Measurable—specific in terms of numbers.
-Time-limited—achievable within a specific period of time.
-Specific—clearly defined and easy to understand.
-Practical—achievable and appropriate within the context of the project.

Example: Convene monthly meetings of representatives from at least five of the community groups working in Lovely Park.

How do you achieve your objectives?

Once you have mapped out your objectives, you can determine the tasks you should be doing to achieve them.

Tasks are: Linked to particular objectives Feasible & appropriate

Example: Send invitation letters to the presidents of all of the community groups working in or around Lovely Park.