A mission statement will help to guide and direct your School Forest Committee's methods, strategies, and goals for years to come. The mission statement will also serve to inspire, support, and motivate commitment to the School Forest goals.
- Keep it simple! Limit the mission statement to one or two sentences that are easy to remember and easy to repeat.
- The mission should be attainable!
- The purpose of the School Forest should be clearly defined. Too many long words can muddy its meaning and make the statement less precise. The mission statement should simply tell why the School Forest exists.
- The mission statement will be the driving force behind the work accomplished in the name of the School Forest, so spend the time necessary to write a mission statement.
- The mission statement should focus and guide work done by the committee to prevent committee members from wasting time on nonessential items.
- Identify for whom the work is being accomplished. Is it for the students, the school, the community, or the committee?
- State the actions that will be used to accomplish the goals. Will the School Forest "promote," "preserve," "serve," or "ensure" something? If so, what?
- The mission statement should clearly and concisely answer five questions:
- Who are we?
- What do we do?
- What are our goals?
- How will we accomplish our goals?
- Why do we do it?
The Mission Statement Worksheet can help guide your committee as you work on developing a mission statement.
If writing a mission statement does not follow your school's structure, consider writing a School Forest Committee Charter. Talk with a school administrator to determine if this is right for your site. You will need to independently investigate a charter outline.
Sample mission statement from Pillager School Forest:
To provide students with a hands-on, outdoor classroom that will enable each student to develop a life-long land stewardship ethic through the experience of actively managing a 120-acre wood lot using sound silvicultural and biological principles.