Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc.
PO Box 841
Oakland FL 34760
Contact Information
Address PO Box 841
Oakland, FL 34760
Phone (407) 905-0054
Web and Social Media
Donate with a credit card https://forms.dwollalabs.com/donate-to-onp
Instagram
Built to resemble pioneer cabin.
Mission
Mission

Our mission is to promote an understanding of the fragile balance between mankind and the environment by educating present and future generations about the natural ecosystems and cultural history of the Lake Apopka Basin, and by restoring and conserving the lands within the Preserve.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mona Phipps
Board Chair Jim Peterson
Board Chair Company Affiliation St. Johns River Water Management District
History
IRS Ruling Year 1999
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph
 
 
Projected Revenue $231,800.00
Projected Expenses $231,800.00
Statements
Mission

Our mission is to promote an understanding of the fragile balance between mankind and the environment by educating present and future generations about the natural ecosystems and cultural history of the Lake Apopka Basin, and by restoring and conserving the lands within the Preserve.

Impact
Achievements from the last Fiscal Year include:
  • Over 30,000 people visited the Oakland Nature Preserve to enjoy our free trails, boardwalk, and museum. Over 2,500 children and adults attended our Educational Programming, including lectures, guided hikes, field trips, summer camp and off-site presentations.
  • Volunteers donated over 6,900 hours of their time to the maintenance and restoration of the Preserve.
  • The Preserve now has a dedicated Volunteer Coordinator that handles outreach for the Preserve, organizing volunteer activities and supervising volunteers, and a new grant writer and fundraising coordinator.  
  • A Certified Public Accountant was added to the staff, to advise on all financial needs. 
  • The Preserve’s restoration volunteers continued restoration of the upland habitat and completed a prescribed burn, necessary to maintain the Sandhill habitat.
In the coming fiscal year, the Oakland Nature Preserve will strive to:
  • Define and implement a marketing plan and financial sustainability plan in order to increase attendance and membership to the Preserve.
  • Increase and diversify attendance to educational programming at the Preserve.
  • Meet habitat restoration goals and objectives in the time frame specified in the Restoration Plan by continuing to protect and rescue native endangered plants and performing valuable and needed upland habitat restoration. 
Independent Research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or program effectiveness? No
Needs

 The Oakland Nature Preserve's most pressing needs include:

  1. Funding for a period-correct pole barn to meet the Oakland Nature Preserve's cultural education goals. Plans have been drafted. Estimated cost for implementation is $60,000.
  2. To maintain forward momentum for the Sandhill and Xeric Hardwood Hammock restoration goals, funding is needed for the removal of exotic plants and trees, the purchase of habitat-appropriate native plants, and the purchase of a tractor for use on restoration projects. Estimated cost for the entire project is $79,000.
  3. Funding to build additional restroom facilities to accommodate our visitors, especially during educational programs and large volunteer events. These facilities would cost approximately $20,000.
  4. An ATV, seating 4-6 people, to increase the accessibility of some of our programming, tours, and volunteer efforts. The ATV would cost approximately $10,400.
  5. Increasing our volunteer base to assist with maintenance and upkeep of recently restored habitats. 
Background

By the mid-1990’s, the restoration of the long polluted Lake Apopka was beginning. The Board of Directors of the Friends of Lake Apopka, the main citizen advocacy group for the lake, realized that long-term citizen support for the restoration process was necessary and also noted that, as the lake was restored, development pressures in the basin would increase. This led to a search to find land on the shoreline where the restoration could be interpreted for the public, providing a window into the process. The tract they chose has frontage on the West Orange Bike Trail and on Lake Apopka. The dry, upland portion of the site had been planted in citrus for many years and then in dense planted pines. The wetland portion was dominated by wetland trees.

Realizing this project would require considerable funding for purchase and a great deal of work to provide restoration of habitat, a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation, Oakland Nature Preserve Inc, was formed. Through support from the Florida Communities Trust, the St. Johns River Management District, the Department of Environmental Protection, and in partnership with the Town of Oakland, volunteers were able to purchase the land that is now the Oakland Nature Preserve.

Work began to restore the site to historical ecological communities and the group began to realize that they had a much greater story to tell than just the Lake Apopka restoration. Exotic species were removed, appropriate plant species were planted, Gopher tortoises were introduced, many bird and mammal species began to appear. As these changes unfolded, the decision was made to expand the original plans and to build an Environmental Education center. The mission to “Conserve, Restore, and Educate” was adopted.

Volunteers, with great community support, acquired 128 acres of land and have raised and invested over $3 million dollars for the Preserve. Today, the Oakland Nature Preserve offers three miles of interpreted trails--including a wheelchair-accessible Boardwalk to Lake Apopka--and an on-site Education Center, modeled after a historical Pioneer home, which features a classroom, Museum, and captive wildlife displays.

The Oakland Nature Preserve’s educational programming includes guided hikes, lectures, field trips for student groups, a Science Club and a Summer Day Camp. The goal of these programs is to educate about Florida’s natural environment and cultural history. Lastly, the Volunteer Restoration Program works to restore the Preserve’s habitat.
CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement

I moved to Florida in 1979 and became enamored with the natural beauty of this state. I became familiar with the fragility of the environment and concerns including loss of habitat caused by development and urban sprawl into sensitive areas.  I have worked on the Lake Apopka restoration project since 1994 for the St. Johns River Water Management District, have worked very closely with Friends of Lake Apopka, and later became active with the Oakland Nature Preserve, because I strongly believed in and supported the goals and mission of the Oakland Nature Preserve; I have served as president since 2014.

The story of Lake Apopka’s recovery from devastating pollution is a Florida success story. The lake and surrounding areas are now beautiful and support an abundance of wildlife. The North Shore Restoration Area of Lake Apopka is one of the premier birding areas in the state.

Surrounding the Oakland Nature Preserve are several towns and cities in that have witnessed rapid increases in residents and visitors who wish to spend time hiking, bird watching, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, and just enjoying the natural beauty the area has to offer. This surge of eco-tourism is sure to continue and will bring more people to the area. The Preserve is needed, because it provides a refuge for wildlife and serves as a natural oasis for residents.

In addition to preservation and restoration work, education is interwoven into every activity at the Oakland Nature Preserve, which is at the heart of the Preserve’s mission. The Preserve’s active volunteer board of directors, highly skilled staff, managing director, part time education staff members, work in tandem to carry out our mission. The only limiting factor for growth and expansion at the Preserve is funding. With additional funding ONP could expand current education programs, continue restoration projects, increase the staff size, and expand the restroom capacity needed for larger groups of visitors and workers.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


NTEE Information
Primary Organization Type Environment
Primary Organization SubType Natural Resources Conservation & Protection
Secondary Organization Type Environment
Secondary Organiztion SubType Environmental Education
Tertiary Organization Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Organization SubType History Museums
Areas Served
Geographic Areas Served
FL
FL - Orange
FL - Osceola
FL - Polk
FL - Seminole
FL - Lake
Oakland Nature Preserve is located in the Town of Oakland and serves residents throughout Central Florida, as well as tourists from the US and abroad. It is one of only three public conservation areas that provide viewing opportunities of Lake Apopka. It is also the only public conservation area located on the 22-mile West Orange bike trail, with an average of 185 to 994* daily users on the segment of the trail adjacent to the Preserve. *Based on Orange County Parks & Recreation Department
Goals
HelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

The overarching goal of the Oakland Nature Preserve is to become Central Florida’s leading conservation education facility dedicated to preserving a healthy, life-sustaining ecosystem in the Lake Apopka watershed for future generations. The Preserve will serve as a resource to guide future land use decisions, as well as for successful restoration efforts. The Oakland Nature Preserve aims to fill the need for publicly accessible conservation areas in Central Florida. The Preserve is one of only three publicly accessible conservation areas with opportunities to view Lake Apopka, and it is the only area with a corresponding education center. We also aim to educate the local and traveling public about the restoration of Lake Apopka and “natural, native” Florida, while serving as a site for the protection of endangered ecosystems, such as the Sandhill habitat.

In the next 1-2 fiscal years, we hope to develop and implement plans and strategies to increase efficiency and attract more visitors, members, and volunteers. Our goals are:

  • Define and implement a marketing plan and financial sustainability plan in order to increase attendance and membership to the Preserve.
  • Increase and diversify attendance to educational programming at the Preserve.
  • Meet habitat restoration goals and objectives in the time frame specified in the Restoration Plan by continuing to protect and rescue native endangered plants and performing valuable and needed upland habitat restoration.

Strategies
HelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

In order to accomplish our goals for the future, the staff and Board of Directors have outlined our strategies. Here are the strategies we have identified for accomplishing each of our goals:

  • Financial Sustainability: First and foremost, we will be developing formal marketing and financial sustainability plans. As part of these plans, we will be overhauling our signage. This will include new informational signage within the Preserve as well as new advertising signage for the West Orange Trail and Highway 50. Additionally, we plan to diversify our funding sources. The Preserve plans to apply for more grants from a diverse selection of organizations and agencies. We are also planning an additional fundraiser on the property, showcasing our trails and Education Center.

  • Attendance and Membership: The Preserve plans to increase and diversify our attendance and membership by reaching out to new schools, organizations, clubs, and corporations. Our partnership with Oakland Avenue Charter School, in which they send students to the Preserve every Wednesday morning, has proven very successful. We would like to offer consistent programming like this one to students from other schools. A long-term goal of the Oakland Nature Preserve is to pursue funding to pay for bus fees, allowing more students to afford trips to the Preserve with their classes. To attract more memberships, we will be increasing our member benefits.

  • Organize Resources: The Oakland Nature Preserve has seen incredible growth in recent years. To respond to this growth, the organization needs to reevaluate its resources, both material and human, and organize accordingly for the future. We plan to develop procedures for data entry and analysis, to inventory and organize our material supplies, and to hire a custodial and maintenance staff to help us provide consistently safe and beautiful experiences to our visitors.

  • Expand our Offerings: The Oakland Nature Preserve is working on a funding plan to purchase Hull Island, a significant ecological and historical site. In addition to purchasing new land and developing new programming associated with that land, we will be developing new curriculum such as Boy and Girl Scout Badge Workshops. The Preserve provides programming to many scout troops each year and we believe that offering badge workshops would continue to foster our partnerships with local troops.

  • Restoration: In order to continue with our Restoration plan in the upland portion of the Preserve, we are offering new volunteer programming, including the Adopt-a-Plot program where groups come to the Preserve to restore and maintain a plot of land. The Oakland Nature Preserve is also partnering with developers to rescue native plants from development sites. 
Capabilities
HelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?

The Oakland Nature Preserve is well-poised to accomplish its goals, both short-term and longer-term. The Preserve currently employs 2 full-time staff and 2 part-time staff members, all with diverse experience ranging from environmental education, animal rehabilitation, business management, volunteer coordination, and grant management. The current Managing Director, Mona Phipps, comes to the Preserve with significant business experience, and plans to facilitate the creation of the marketing and financial sustainability plans. The Preserve has a dedicated grant writer and fundraising coordinator, thus diversifying our funding sources. Our education coordinator has taught at the Preserve for over a year and has the background necessary to develop new curriculum.

In addition to these core staff, the Oakland Nature Preserve has an active volunteer program. Volunteers assist with tasks ranging from maintenance to habitat restoration to education and outreach. They have donated over 48,000 hours of time to the Preserve and are key to our continued success. Additionally, the Preserve has a mutually beneficial partnership with Orange County Corrections through their Alternative Community Service Program. Volunteers assigned through this program are required to complete hours at the Oakland Nature Preserve, and these volunteers provide us with valuable labor and skills.

The Preserve also benefits from an active volunteer Board of Directors. Restoration at the Preserve is coordinated by the Restoration Committee, and members of this committee devotes 3-10 hours of their time to restoration each week. Other Board members have backgrounds in education, business and the sciences. Four of our Board members were founding members of the Oakland Nature Preserve, and their insight into the original mission is valuable as the organization changes and grows.

In addition to our excellent partnerships with Oakland Avenue Charter School and Orange County Corrections, we have many other partners who provide resources and assistance to our education, restoration, and administrative work. Our partners include: the Florida Youth Conservation Network, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Florida Native Plant Society, University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida’s Master Naturalist Program, and the Association of Nature Center Administrators.
Indicators
HelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?

In the coming year, as a result of our marketing and curriculum efforts, the Oakland Nature Preserve would like to see an increase in memberships, visitors and educational program participants. Additionally, we hope that our extended reach will attract new board members, diversifying our leadership.

Currently, the Oakland Nature Preserve collects visitor data through sign-in sheets and registration to programs. Data collected includes how often they visit, where they are from, and how they found out about the Preserve. We will continue to collect and analyze this data for valuable information and feedback. We are in the process of designing a visitor study so that we can establish a standardized method of estimating Preserve attendance numbers. Additionally, we are designing a new teacher evaluation, giving teachers who bring their class to the Preserve for educational field trips a chance to give us specific feedback. We already collect visitor and participant feedback through our social media, including Facebook Check-Ins and TripAdvisor reviews.

As part of our restoration goals, our volunteers complete an annual Gopher Tortoise survey. The survey has indicated an increase in gopher tortoises, and we hope to continue to see increases as the restoration progresses. The Outreach Coordinator is also developing a Citizen Science program. As we restore the land at the Preserve, these Citizen Scientists will monitor native and invasive species, reporting on the success of the restoration. We hope to see a significant increase in native species and a decrease in non-native species in the coming years.
Progress
HelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far? Progress has already been made in the following ways:
  • Financial Sustainability: In pursuit of our financial sustainability goals, we have already begun revising our chart of accounts using generally accepted accounting practices for nonprofit organizations outlined by the National Center of Charitable Statistics. We have also begun charging fees for our Saturday Science and Hike programming. These fees have also provided an additional member benefit, allowing members to participate in our Saturday programming for free. This change has already attracted new members and allowed us to pursue new presenters. Our grant coordinator has already begun to diversify our funding sources and apply to new foundations and grants.

  • Attendance and Membership: As noted, new member benefits have already increased our memberships. We have also successfully increased our volunteer outreach work, including attending a volunteer festival to recruit new individual and group volunteers. Our Facebook page has surpassed 1,000 likes, and we have recently been featured by the Great Florida Birding Trail, Florida Natural Wonders and other environmental groups. In a partnership with Full Sail University Students, we are filming and editing a professional-quality promotional video to advertise the Preserve online and through commercials.

  • Organize Resources: The staff has reorganized the office, files, and storage closets, and the outreach coordinator is working with volunteers to do a full inventory of tools. We have reorganized our volunteer and visitor database to increase efficiency and allow us to pull useful data for grant reports and newsletters. We have already applied for and received grants to fund a maintenance staff member.

  • Expand our Offerings: Our Education Coordinator has already begun expanding our curriculum, including adding curriculum on coyotes and gopher tortoises, suitable for both on-site and off-site presentations. We are researching and developing a plan to raise funds and purchase Hull Island, a site with proven archaeological significance and great ecological importance. We are planning to expand to from one week to two weeks of summer camp for the Elementary age-range.

  • Restoration: Restoration efforts have significantly impacted our gopher tortoise population, which has risen from approximately 54 tortoises in 2013 to approximately 80 tortoises in 2015. Gopher tortoises are a keystone species, and their success indicates the overall health of the habitat.

Programs
Description

The Oakland Nature Preserve will achieve its conservation and restoration vision by expanding the Preserve to include other sensitive adjoining lands and continue transforming old citrus grove and slash pine farm areas into the original Sandhill ecosystems. Within Orange County, Sandhill plant communities have been extensively developed and the Preserve has become an important recipient site for rare and endangered plants.

The 128-acre Preserve consists of forested wetlands, Lake Apopka shoreline and uplands. Approximately 15 acres of Sandhill uplands has been restored and requires maintenance. 25 acres of the uplands is in need of restoration. This requires harvesting of sand pines and controlled burning before native plant species can be installed. The Preserve has approximately 88 acres of wetlands. Invasive vines are established on 22 acres. To restore this habitat, the vines need to be carefully removed and trees planted.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Short-term success would include: A controlled burn conducted on 18 acres and a well installed to provide a temporary irrigation system for restoration area. Irrigation from the well will be used to water the native plants once installed. The temporary irrigation will be removed once the plants are established and can survive with rain.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. Ideally, the Preserve will have all of its 128-acre of habitat restored and functioning. No exotic species will be found within the boundaries of the Preserve. A system of controlled burns will be implemented on a rotating basis to keep the health of the upland communities intact. Canopy trees will have grown to shade the wetland areas
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success will be determined by the numbers of acres restored to a functioning upland system, the survival rate of the plants, and by plant and animal surveys conducted by volunteers.
Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Fifteen (15) acres of upland habitat has been restored with a 60% of the plants surviving. These areas have shown limited evidence of invasives becoming established. Due to the restoration of this upland area, the Oakland Nature Preserve now has a breeding population of gopher tortoises.
Description

The Oakland Nature Preserve developed and maintains recreation opportunities including hiking trails, boardwalk to the shore of Lake Apopka, birding and wildlife viewing, nature photography, and the Museum in the Environmental Education Center, which was built to replicate a pioneer homestead.

Bird feeders and a small bird blind have been placed throughout to maximize opportunities for bird watchers to see a large diversity of species. Feeders must be regularly cleaned, maintained, and restocked with seed. Blinds and observation areas must also be maintained.

Interpretive materials, including signage, exhibits, and pamphlets, give visitors an opportunity to understand about our cultural and natural history and the need to restore altered ecosystems. It is important to maintain, refurbish, and update this information over time to keep visitors informed and engaged.
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Short term success can be measured by an increase in the number of new memberships and on-site visitor donations. With increased advertising, we can also measure short-term success by increased attendance at our scheduled programming.Visitor numbers will increase in part due to an increase in promotion and advertising of our programs and facilities. An increasing number of visitors will leave with an greater understanding of the cultural and natural history of Central Florida.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.
Visitors will develop an understanding:
  • Ecosystems and habitats found at ONP
  • Natural systems that are part of Lake Apopka watershed
  • The value of eco-logical restoration (ex. citrus grove to a natural community)
  • Impact of their actions on these systems.
A steady stream of visitors will use its facilities and trails daily and they will be careful not to adversely impact the resources or infrastructure.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Visitor counts are kept for the boardwalk, upland trails, and events participation. Comments from a visitor log are reviewed to see what items captured the visitors' interest. Comments are also collected through social media sites like TripAdvisor and Facebook Check-ins. In addition, staff regularly discuss verbal feedback received from visitors (solicited and unsolicited) in monthly staff meetings. This feedback is shared at the monthly Board of Directors meeting.
Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Visitor numbers have increased by 40% with the construction of additional trails, installation of interpretive signs and kiosks, restoration of new areas, and increase in migratory and permanent bird populations. The Oakland Nature Preserve is currently rated on TripAdvisor as the #1 thing to do in Oakland, FL and has an average 5-star rating. Program success is also evident in the increased number of followers on social media channels, and the increased volume of branded merchandise sales to visitors.
Description

The Oakland Nature Preserve is dedicated to providing all-ages environmental education. The Preserve’s educational programming includes: guided hikes, lectures, festivals, field trips for student groups, an After-School Science Club and a Summer Day Camp. The goal of these programs is to educate about Florida’s natural environment and encourage safe outdoor exploration.

The Preserve’s weekly after-school programs are continually evolving, introducing new topics and providing extended science learning for participating children. Summer week-long day camps focus on age-appropriate hands-on learning for grades K-8.

For field trip groups, multidisciplinary environmental education curricula have been developed for that meet both state and national education standards. The Preserve also offers many cutting edge Environmental Education workshops that can be used to provide in-service credit or certification, including the Florida Master Naturalist Program.
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Families
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. Saturday programming will demonstrate consistent attendance. Our Summer Day Camp and After-School Science Club registrations will meet or exceed the available spots. Both programs will have a waiting list. Visitors and participants will provide positive feedback both formally and informally.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. In the long-term, the Oakland Nature Preserve aims to promote awareness of environmental issues so that the decision makers of tomorrow will have a better understanding of the balance between nature and mankind. Attendees will indicate that they have absorbed and retained information. For example, young students or campers will come back to the Preserve and give their family a tour, becoming environmental educators themselves. High numbers of repeat attendees is also a good indication the long-term success of our programs.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.
The Environmental Education program at the Oakland Nature Preserve is monitored through social media sites like TripAdvisor and Facebook Check-ins, teacher evaluations from visiting teachers, and post-camp parent surveys. All programs have an attendance or registration sheet, allowing us to access not just registration numbers, but also data like membership status, hometown, and if they are a regular visitor.
Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Summer Day Camp attendance increased this past year, with 63 registered campers. A remarkable 40% of those campers attended summer camp at the Preserve in previous years. Our “Be Bear Aware” program reached over 1,600 people last fiscal year. As a result of our partnership with Oakland Avenue Charter School, Science FCAT scores at the school rose by 29% in 2014, with 88% of students scoring a 3 or higher.
Description
Many of the projects associated with infrastructure such as trails, kiosks, boardwalk, amphitheaters, wooden fencing, pavilions, and restoration efforts are the result of community projects conducted by Eagle Scouts, service organizations, clubs, etc. Development of additional projects and continued maintenance along the restoration plantings and invasive plant species control is needed.
 
Providing a location where service projects can be conducted and assisting with the planning process is important to ONP and fosters a sense of community involvement and a vested interest in the Preserve. Each service project is evaluated to be sure it meets the needs and furthers ONP's vision. Properly planned and implemented service projects increase the reach and sustainability of ONP and its programs. Many partnerships have been created with ONP during this on-going process.
Population Served Adults
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Offenders/Ex-Offenders
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service. An average of three major service projects will be proposed from an outside source. Based on evaluation of proposals and need by ONP, a minimum of one service project is completed annually and several small projects will be completed during the community work days.
Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state. ONP will have three major service projects conducted on its property each year. These projects will assist with maintaining existing infrastructure and removal of invasive plant species but will no longer be needed to provide expansion of trails or boardwalks.
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. Success will be determined by the use of any new infrastructure. This will be noted in visitor comments, observation by staff/contractors, and comments received. Increase in the number of volunteers for service or community projects will be monitored.
Examples of SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success. Eagle Scout project to develop an informational kiosk near the Environmental Education Center walkways is successfully completed. Visitors use the kiosk daily to help understand the trail system and look for information on upcoming events. The project was an effort between ONP and a local Eagle Scout and meets all expectations.
Comments
CEO Comments

The Oakland Nature Preserve has a very unique environmental education program, which focuses on the following goals:

  1. Develop program curricula that use the 128-acre Preserve as a hands-on classroom to encourage an appreciation of natural systems.

  2. Teach about natural systems and the challenges of restoring an altered ecosystem, to promote awareness of environmental issues.

  3. Foster sensitivity to environmental issues and conservation efforts.

  4. Interpret the cultural and natural history of the area, encouraging an understanding of a sense of place.

  5. Meet Florida education and national Common Core standards and benchmarks, to increase benefits to teachers.

The success of these educational programs is measured by an increase in:

  1. Increased registration for ONP education programs.

  2. Increased memberships and donations.

  3. Increased visibility in the community at large.

  4. Receiving increased positive responses from program evaluations completed by students, teachers, and parents

  5. Increased community responses to programs.

The long-term goal is to grow the programs to become self-supporting. At this time, cost to school groups and organizations is minimal. The priority is to improve the quality and quantity of our education programs. We must depend on grants and donations to fund all our programs. The Preserve has a solid team of educators and without being able to establish long-term funding there is the fear of losing them to better paying jobs that offer financial security.

Volunteers have donated hundreds of hours to teach organized education programs, such as the three Master Naturalist modules, greet visitors to the Preserve, present lectures, lead guided hikes and tours, and create displays and wildlife habitats. Support from volunteers will continue to be important to all the programs at the Preserve.
Board Chair
Board Chair Jim Peterson
Company Affiliation St. Johns River Water Management District
Term Apr 2014 to Feb 2018
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair
Board
Board Members
NameCompany AffiliationsStatusCertificate*
Joey Alarie Marketing & Graphic DesignVotingYes
Jimmie Atwill Past-President, Bloom & Grow Garden SocietyVotingNo
Krista Compton Carter West Orange Chamber of CommerceVotingNo
Craig Duxbury Environmental Scientist at DisneyVotingYes
Paul Ek St. Johns River Water Management DistrictVotingNo
Dennis Foltz City Manager Town of OaklandVotingNo
Kevin Gidusko Public Archaeology Coordinator, FPANVotingYes
Mary Louise Grable Johns Lake Improvement AssociationVotingNo
Jim Helmers Community VolunteerVoting
Don Hickman West Orange Country Club, Oakland Presbytarian ChurchVotingNo
Charlie Joiner DisneyVoting
Frank Merritt Friends of Lake Apopka, Town of Oakland and YMCAVotingNo
Jim Peterson St. Johns River Water Management DistrictVotingNo
Julie Robinson Community VolunteerVotingYes
Jacqueline Rolly Florida Native Plant SocietyVotingNo
Jim Thomas Biosphere Inc.VotingNo
Peg Thomas Retired TeacherVotingNo
Pam Wolfcale Oakland Avenue Charter SchoolVotingNo
*This individual has been awarded a Certificate in Orientation to Board Service by the Edyth Bush Institute for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Leadership at Rollins College ebi.rollins.edu,
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Ethnicity
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Other (if specified) 0
Policies
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Standing Committees
Standing Committees
Committee Name
Education
Finance
Executive
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
By-laws
Membership
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Nominating
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Volunteer
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Additional Board/s Members and Affiliations
Advisory Board
NameCompany Affiliation
Jack Amon FOLA member, business leader
Heidi Beck Charter Schools Teacher
Angela Ewanitz
Nancy Mote
Comments
CEO Comments

 BOD Approved June 2016The Oakland Nature Preserve has a very diverse and talented board of directors who spend a considerable amount of time on the property with special projects, restoration activities and education offerings. We have the distinct privilege of the experience and knowledge of our founding President Jim Thomas, who is considered one of the top native environmentalists in central Florida. Several of our board members are native upland plant experts and have a broad and diverse background in habitat restoration. The current president has several decades of wetlands knowledge and experience with the restoration of Lake Apopka. We have several board members who are educators, and many local business leaders and retired professionals who offer their particular skills and backgrounds to aid us in our endeavors. We will continue to attract and nominate top scientists, restoration experts, educators, and local professionals into our board of directors and advisory boards.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mona Phipps
Term Start Dec 2016
Email director@oaklandnaturepreserve.org
Experience


CEO Salary Range $0 - $50,000
Former CEOs
Former CEOs
NameStartEnd
Barbara Gugliotti Apr 2014May
Mona Phipps 2011 2014
Staff
Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 475
Number of Contract Staff 4
Staff Retention Rate 75%
Other
Awards
AwardAwarding OrganizationYear
Motivation AwardOakland Avenue Charter School2012
CEO Comments

D &Insurance NonSolicitations 

State Registration Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Month July
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Expiration Year 2017
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2016
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2017
Documents
Form 990s
YearDocument
2016990
2015Signed Page 1
2015990
2014990 (Password Protected)
2014990
2014Signed Page 1
2013990
2012990
2011990
2010990
2009990
2008Form 990
Audit Documents
YearDocument
2011ONP Compilation
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Determination letter
Other Financial Documents
YearDocument
2016SignedForm990
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$0$62,385$0
Government Contributions$15,000$35,000$5,000
Federal$0$0--
State$0$0--
Local$0$0--
Unspecified$15,000$35,000$5,000
Individual Contributions$130,071$28,244$101,474
$1,230$0$0
$17,787$12,318$16,570
Investment Income, Net of Losses$61$124$98
Membership Dues$6,310$8,275$0
Special Events$18,859$24,476$28,156
Revenue In-Kind$7,389$0$0
Other$26$0$0
Expense Allocations
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$89,819$152,738$152,039
Administration Expense$115,457$12,258$2,075
Fundraising Expense$80$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.040.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses44%93%99%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$644,261$649,866$644,006
Current Assets$170,018$166,166$144,276
Long-Term Liabilities$3,052$34$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$641,209$649,832$644,006
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundations, Corporations and Individuals $130,071Foundations and Corporations $62,385 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountSpecial Events $18,859Government $35,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountEarned Revenue $17,787Individuals $28,244 --
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Comments
CEO Comments


Foundation Comments
Financial figures taken from IRS form 990s.
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Notes Programs listed here are those that are only activated during a disaster. Some organizations have unified budgeting and do not budget by program. Because of this, some budget fields may be blank or represent an approximation. Organization describes previous experience during the immediate response, recovery or rebuilding phases following a disaster.
Nonprofit Oakland Nature Preserve, Inc.
Address PO Box 841
Oakland, FL 34760
Primary Phone (407) 905-0054
CEO/Executive Director Mona Phipps
Board Chair Jim Peterson
Board Chair Company Affiliation St. Johns River Water Management District
Year of Incorporation 1999