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Friends of Middlesex Fells Reservation, Inc.

 235 West Foster Street
 Melrose, MA 02176
[P] (781) 662-2340
[F] --
www.fells.org
friends@fells.org
Joyce Calabro
INCORPORATED: 1986
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-3278797

LAST UPDATED: 01/30/2015
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is dedicated to the protection and harmonious use of the Fells, promoting awareness, policies and programs which honor and preserve the landscape and heritage of the 3,400 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation for current and future generations.
 
We sponsor natural and cultural history lectures and recreational hikes year-round to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Fells. We assist local youth groups in community service projects and work with local conservation groups to help develop policies through collaboration with local and state agencies and elected officials.  We sponsor Fells clean up events and raise money to rehabilitate Fells structures.

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is dedicated to the protection and harmonious use of the Fells, promoting awareness, policies and programs which honor and preserve the landscape and heritage of the 3,400 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation for current and future generations.
 
We sponsor natural and cultural history lectures and recreational hikes year-round to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Fells. We assist local youth groups in community service projects and work with local conservation groups to help develop policies through collaboration with local and state agencies and elected officials.  We sponsor Fells clean up events and raise money to rehabilitate Fells structures.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year May 01, 2012 to Apr 30, 2013
Projected Income $60,000.00
Projected Expense $55,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Beyond the Classroom - Youth in the Fells

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation is dedicated to the protection and harmonious use of the Fells, promoting awareness, policies and programs which honor and preserve the landscape and heritage of the 3,400 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation for current and future generations.
 
We sponsor natural and cultural history lectures and recreational hikes year-round to increase public awareness and appreciation of the Fells. We assist local youth groups in community service projects and work with local conservation groups to help develop policies through collaboration with local and state agencies and elected officials.  We sponsor Fells clean up events and raise money to rehabilitate Fells structures.

Background Statement

Formal organization of the Friends of the Middlesex Fells Reservation dates from a July 14, 1989 Memorandum of Understanding between the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) Reservations and Historic Sites Unit and the Cooperating Association of New England Parks, Inc. (CAENPI) which established the purposes and responsibilities of the Friends in relationship to the Fells Reservation, its managing agency and the public. In 1994 the Friends of the Fells status as a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt public charity was confirmed in a letter sent to the Friends by the Internal Revenue Service. The Friends of the Fells headquarters is located in Melrose, Massachusetts at the Beebe Estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
The Friends offer a variety of programs throughout the year that are attended by people of all ages from the communities north of Boston. The 3,400 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation contains a wealth of natural, cultural and recreational resources. Within and surrounded by the Massachusetts communities of Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Winchester, the Fells provides a natural oasis in an urbanized metropolitan region.
 

Each month over 12 guided hikes explore various parts of the Fells. In addition, the Friends promote an active program of invasive species removal and trail maintenance. Several times a year, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Friends hold cleanup drives.

The Friends also offer a periodic lecture series and programs on topics related to the Fells. Our most popular program celebrates the solstices and equinoxes. Led by "Boot" Boutwell, a naturalist, this family oriented program is a lively mix of stories, songs, lectures and activities.

The Friends also actively partner with other organizations to offer special programs. For example, last fall, the Friends collaborated with the Medford Historical Society in offering a hike that explored the uses of the Fells over the past 200 years.


Impact Statement

This past year, the Friends received an unprecedented number of requests from school and youth groups seeking assistance for visits to the Fells.  Over 300 youngsters between the ages of 8 and 18 took instructional hikes in the Fells last spring and summer.  The groups included the Stoneham Cub Scouts, Medford's Andrews Middle School, the Malden YMCA summer cap and the Eagle Eye Institute of Somerville. 
 
The popularity of our signature program, Babes in the Woods  resulted in the formation of an Advisory Group of dedicated attendees that help secure volunteers and funding for the program.  The Babes in the Woods program grew from once a week to three times a week.
 
The Friends of the Fells plans to expand its current programs and offer monthly 90-minute walks through the Fells specially designed for seniors beginning in the spring of 2013.  These walks will offer seniors an opportunity, not otherwise available, to enjoy the physical, mental and social benefits of walking through the woods with a leader knowledgeable in the ecology and history of the area. 

Needs Statement

Strategic Plan Development - $5,000
Database System Upgrade - $2500
Database System Administrator
Event Coordinator 
Fund Raising Plan 

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
NORTHEAST REGION, MA

North of Boston area:
The 3,400 acre Middlesex Fells Reservation contains a wealth of natural, cultural and recreational resources.Within and surrounded by the Massachusetts communities of Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham and Winchester, the Fells provides a natural oasis in an urbanized metropolitan region. According to the 2000 Census, 76,357 people live within a half mile of the Middlesex Fells Reservation and over 1.8 million live within a 10-mile radius.

Organization Categories

  1. Environment - Environmental Education
  2. Environment - Alliances & Advocacy
  3. Environment - Forest Conservation

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Beyond the Classroom - Youth in the Fells

This program is to create a part-time staff position with the Friends of the Fells to develop, coordinate and sustain a robust youth program that focuses on fostering healthy, active children by providing otherwise unavailable opportunities to experience and learn about the outdoors and the environment. This person will work with Stoneham-based youth organizations (e.g. schools, boys/girls clubs) to develop new programs and presentations for youth education, a Teach/Train the Teacher program, field programs targeted to specific youth groups, interpretive trail guides, youth volunteer programs and youth community service projects. They will also develop a marketing strategy and fund raising campaign to recruit the needed volunteers and secure the needed funding to evolve and sustain the position and programs beyond the life of this grant. This program would cover two years and allow the Friends of the Fells to expand its current youth programs to meet ever increasing demands.

Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Families
Program Short-Term Success 

The results of this program will be increased access to fun, healthy youth activities locally and free of charge. In addition to the health benefits and improving the over-all well-being of children, these programs will provide new opportunities for socialization.The first year will be focused on coordination with and support to various Stoneham-based youth organizations. The goal will be to develop a good set of programs that can be expanded in subsequent years by bringing in other local youth groups ((e.g. Eagle Eye Institute, Family Networks) to increase connections between the Town of Stoneham and the surrounding communities. By creating this position, the Friends will also be able to coordinate needs and requests across the various communities and help to build stronger youth networks and alliances focused on providing youth experiences beyond what can be accommodated in a classroom environment.

Program Long-Term Success 

Physical activity and contact with nature have a great impact on children (see www.childrenandnature.org). The concept of “green exercise (activity in the presence of nature)” is being studied with the conclusion that “it is essential to human health” and can in fact help children with disorders such as obesity and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. The 2011 Massachusetts Youth Health Survey states that only 14.7% of middle school youth and 17.2% of high school youth who responded were considered to have met the new 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans which is “60 minutes or more of physical activity each day” for children. Our long-term goal for this program is to instill a love of nature and exercise, beginning at a young age, to at least double these statistics, as well as to educate and enrich the stewards of tomorrow by encouraging families to get outside and enjoy nature today.

Program Success Monitored By 

The Friends currently has a database and baseline of metrics for number of members, hike/cleanup attendance, presentation requests, programs and volunteers. Surveys will be conducted periodically to identify program successes as well as areas for improvement and expansion. Project success will be measured by:

  • Expansion of current youth programs and number of new programs initiated.    
  • Increased partnerships with other youth organizations sharing common goals.
  • Increased youth attendance at hikes and cleanup events.
  • Increased volunteer assistance with youth programs. 
  • Increased membership. 
  • Increased sponsorship and funding sources for youth programs.

We believe that by building awareness of these spaces we help educate and encourage the future stewards of our public lands. The Friends of the Fells hopes that such aware individuals will join our organization as members and volunteers so that the Friends may continue its advocacy and protection programming.

Examples of Program Success 

We have much experience in successful youth programs such as Babes in the Woods. This program offers free, guided nature walks and hikes in the Middlesex Fells to parents and their children. Since 1999, hundreds of parents and young children have participated, and the program has increased from one to three times per week to accommodate the growing demand. Last spring and summer the Friends partnered with the Stoneham Cub Scouts, Medford’s Andrews Middle School, the Malden YMCA and Eagle Eye Institute of Somerville to introduce over 300 youth between the ages of 8 and 18 to the nature and beauty of the Fells Reservation.

Quotes: “My children will grow up always knowing the Fells and I am teaching them that this natural blessing is one to care for.” “Happy memories of tromping through the woods, turning over rocks to find bugs, and watching birds flit through the trees may grow into a desire to preserve and nurture those spaces for others to enjoy.”


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Mike Ryan
CEO Term Start May 2003
CEO Email mike_ryan@comcast.net
CEO Experience
Director  has a long history of being involved in environmental causes. Before becoming director, he was on the Board of the Fells.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 25
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 2
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 1
Male: 1
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt
State Registration Yes

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. Bryan Hamlin PhD
Board Chair Company Affiliation New England Botanical Club
Board Chair Term May 2011 - Apr 2013
Board Co-Chair Sandra Pascal
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Wentworth University
Board Co-Chair Term May 2010 - Apr 2013

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Joyce Calabro retired --
Mayor Robert Dolan No Affiliation Exofficio
Bob Ghika TBS --
Bryan Hamlin PhD New England Botanical Club Voting
Dana Jewell No Affiliation Voting
Heidi Kelf No Affiliation Voting
Walter Kittredge No Affiliation Voting
Carol McKinley No Affiliations Voting
Mike Oliver No Affiliation Voting
Sandra Pascal No Affiliation Voting
Mike Ryan No Affiliation NonVoting
Rich Sanford TBS --
Robert Weggel No Affiliation Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Anita Brewer-Siljeholm M.S. -- NonVoting
Representative Paul Brodeur Massachusetts House of Representatives NonVoting
Matthew Burne M.S. -- NonVoting
Senator Katherine Clark Massachusetts Senate NonVoting
Susan Dalelio Posse Foundation NonVoting
Mayor Robert Dolan City of Melrose NonVoting
Barry Fogel Esq Keegan Werlin LLP NonVoting
David Kourtz HR-ROI Solutions, LLC NonVoting
Dominica Nichols PHD -- --
Tinie Noordzi Winchester Trails Association NonVoting
Professor Michael Romero PhD Tufts University NonVoting
Ted Wright jr State University of New York at Albany NonVoting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 4
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Youth

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

One of the  major challenges is to increase board capacity in order to meet new demands. Going forward, board developement will become a standing agenda item at each board meeting.

Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Fiscal Year May 01, 2012 to Apr 30, 2013
Projected Income $60,000.00
Projected Expense $55,000.00
Form 990s

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Revenue $52,692 $51,488 $55,553
Total Expenses $51,484 $56,364 $71,137

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $31,418 $26,899 $36,154
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $6,002 $5,138 $-440
Investment Income, Net of Losses $9 $21 $114
Membership Dues $14,885 $18,998 $19,513
Special Events -- -- $212
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $378 $432 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Program Expense $40,220 $47,640 $50,153
Administration Expense $11,264 $8,724 $20,984
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.02 0.91 0.78
Program Expense/Total Expenses 78% 85% 71%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Assets $35,224 $34,016 $38,892
Current Assets $25,086 $22,613 $23,986
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $35,224 $34,016 $38,892

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 3.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities -- -- --

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

For the organization to grow, it must diversify its revenue stream. To seek new sources of revenue , the board formed a development committee.  To date the committee has engaged in an active round of grants and partnered with two other organizations to raise money   

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals as the breakout was not available.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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