You’ve worked really hard this past year and now you need to get your staff psyched to launch a new product line. Or maybe your nonprofit organization is serving more people with fewer resources and you need to come up with a new fundraising plan. Setting aside a day once a year for a staff retreat to reconsider your mission and vision can yield big results.
Even better: schedule a staff retreat day to put your company’s sustainability plan and environmental policies on paper while enjoying and learning from an unusual organization that has made the commitment to sustainability themselves.
Mercy by the Sea, a 33 acre facility with 1100 feet of private beach offers nonprofit, government and business groups a “unique setting where learning, planning, exploring and innovating can flourish”, as described on their website, www.mercybythesea.org.
Two years ago they made a strong commitment to greening their operations and added an Ecology Department and Director, Sherill Baldwin, to their organization.
The work of the Ecology Department overseas the Center’s environmental
efforts in energy and water usage, waste management, purchasing, food,
and land management. On their website—which is a
terrific learning tool in and of itself—you’ll find their efforts described in each of these areas. From retrofitting toilets to setting aside composting sites on their acreage, they list the steps they’ve taken and provide detailed information. How did they fund the improvement sin energy consumption? (They received a loan through Connecticut Light and Power's Lighting Rebate Program: check it out at http://www.cl-p.com/clmbus/express/lighting.asp.) Which plumbing did chose (They chose the Kohler Cimmaron Comfort Height toilet with Class Five flushing technology and will tell you why.)
You can book a day long meeting or even stay overnight. Large conference rooms overlook the ocean and break out rooms are available for small group work. All the AV equipment you’ll need is on site as well as a food service.
And as a nonprofit, their rates are more reasonable than commercial facilities.
The Ecology Director, Sherill Baldwin, was kind enough to meet with me and walk me through the facility and its acreage. She has a huge job putting 33 acres and a slew of separate buildings on the road to sustainability and has much to share. We’ll keep you up to date on their work, the efforts of their ecology department, and lessons learned on the road to sustainability.
Look for future posts on the Mercy Center’s wide range of retreats, workshops, and special events. You’ll want to make the trip to the Mercy Center again and again whether you are seeking to refresh your organization’s mission or your own.