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  • Michael Hendrix

The Growing Center Advances its Strategic Planning Initiative

It’s an exciting time for the Growing Center with its Strategic Planning process underway and its 30th anniversary approaching next fall!

Members of both the Strategic Planning committee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee came together on March 23 for a virtual call discussing progress and next steps.

“This is a moment for The Growing Center and its community to reflect, aspire, and strategize how best to pursue its mission of supporting the local community through ecological, multicultural, and educational programming,” said volunteer Amanda Iglesias, who is supporting the strategic planning process.

At the end of last year, The Friends of the Community Growing Center (FCGC) convened a group of volunteers including board members and volunteers who expressed an interest in joining the Strategic Planning committee. The committee is working in close partnership with the DEI committee to align plans around the mission to be inclusive and accessible, and evolve to serve the changing landscape of Somerville residents.

Strategic Planning efforts are being supported by a team of graduate students from the Tufts Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. The research being done by the Tufts students is helping the FCGC undertake a deep analysis of where the Growing Center has been successful in the past, and the opportunities for growth in the future.

Tufts UEP grad students (L to R) Kayden Kelley, Diya Wheeler, Madeline Kim and Maya Nunez at the Growing Center.

When complete, the Strategic Plan will support the Growing Center in four key ways. First, it aims to distill the organization’s “North Star,” communicating a clear, compelling updated mission and vision to guide decision making and future collaborations. Second, the plan will help increase the Center’s capabilities over time in order to grow its impact, ensuring systems are in place to include diverse voices and broaden participation. Third, the process will create a roadmap to achieve its goals through highlighting a path and key milestones. Finally, the plan will include a regular process to communicate roadmap progress and updates with the community.

“It’s an exercise that’s anchored in reflection,” said Iglesias. “And in that process of reflecting you not only get to celebrate what makes the Growing Center great, but you can also identify what values and principals will lead us into the future.”

This past fall, the nonprofit Terra Cura facilitated conversations with FCGC board and volunteers to distill the values and principles that make the center unique. Attendees brainstormed and discussed elements to help chart a path for the future that builds on the Center’s long history of serving the community as a nature-based education and cultural space.

Connect with The Growing Center to Stay Informed!

We’ll be sharing additional invitations for all members of the community to share their input, experiences, wisdom and feedback with us. We welcome all levels of engagement and will be exploring various ways to make the process accessible and relevant. There is also another anniversary-focused project to construct a local exhibit of our history and archives in the works. If you have stories or impressions you want to share from the past almost 30 years, we would love to hear from you! Not only will they help this project, they might influence future planning.

To share your ideas, get involved at any level or to learn more, please reach out to Lisa at There are also many ways to connect with The Growing Center. You can bookmark our blog, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our newsletter ( for more updates on Strategic planning and other exciting programming.


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