Rachel Carson Homestead Association

Rachel Carson Homestead Association
Five Year Strategic Planning Model: 2007 to 2012
“Pollution Prevention for Health”
1. The Heinz Endowments will continue as a core funding body, with an expansion to a wider
national base as the outreach mission grows.
2. Rachel Carson is recognized as a founder of the modern environmental movement. Focus on
associating the image of Rachel Carson with consumer protection, precaution for the ecosystems
of the globe, and worker safety. “Rachel Carson” has been branded in the national and
international media as inextricably associated with DDT, death of millions from malaria, and a
limited science impact. This myth should be targeted for constructive rebuttal at all times.
3. The RCHA will benefit from the broader exposure and credibility gained during the
Centennial Celebrations
4. The RCHA will retain its two part mission, one taking ownership and custody of the
Homestead, the other taking focus on a national action agenda addressing consumer awareness
and action on pesticide use, regulation and alternatives.
The mission:
To preserve, restore and interpret Rachel Carson's birthplace and childhood home;
and to design and implement education programs and resources in keeping with her
environmental ethic:
 Live in harmony with nature.
 Preserve and learn from natural places.
 Minimize the impact of man-made chemicals on natural systems of the world.
 Consider the implications of human actions on the global web of life.
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The RCHA will maintain its two pronged mission but not with equal emphasis:
 The Homestead preservation and presentation is limited by physical condition, space, and
location. Its promotion and maintenance will occur within the parameters of the Rivers
of Steel Heritage Area, and programs presented through the Homestead will focus on the
inspirational value of Rachel Carson as an icon of the environment movement.
 The environmental education and outreach functions will expand from a local focus to a
national focus with specific attention around organic and sustainable food chain
management, including integrated pest management principles, and building consumer
awareness around toxic and biologically harmful synthetic compounds and practices.
 The proactive advocacy function will increase over time, beginning with a focus on
regulation of chemicals, such as atrazine, which are banned in Europe under the European
Commission precautionary principle.
The RCHA will address the use of commercial agriculture pesticides and herbicides as a niche
focus for its action agenda. The promotion of organic and sustainable agricultural products as a
counterpoint to heavily chemically dependent cultivation will be a corollary to this action. The
economic effects resulting from pesticide and GMO food cultivation in the US when the
European markets refuse to accept them must also be considered. Outreach around organic and
sustainable foods, home and garden care without pesticides and herbicides will continue from the
Homestead, and reach out to a national audience.
Issues we need to tackle:
 genetically modified foods/seeds
 The nature of the “harm” from fertilizers, herbcides and pesticides…endocrine disruptors
 Toxicology vs precaution as a standard
 Unintended consequences of corn for biofuel
 Identify compelling issues and identify constructive alternatives in terms of consumer
choices, government policies, or industry research for safer options.
 Craft positive, empowering messages, rather than overwhelming people with negative
data that causes paralysis of response.
2012 Program Goals:
The RCHA Program will proceed along two tracks; one to address the national education
awareness and action campaign to control the harm from synthetic chemicals, and one to focus
on the Homestead.
Each of the objectives will have annual strategies and actions for operations every year for five
years. (Matrix in progress)
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Goal I: To achieve national recognition of the unintended consequences for human health
from exposure to mixtures of chemicals produced in the food chain, and the availability of
healthier alternatives. Begin with advocating for a ban on use in the United States of
chemicals, such as atrazine, which are disallowed in Europe under the precautionary
principle, based on biological effects and economic consequences.
Expand national consumer awareness about harmful chemicals in the environment.
Consumers have an important role in helping to solve the problem of chemical pollution. People
can make better choices, and reduce market demand for harmful products. Informed consumers
can demand accountability from manufacturers and can demand safer alternatives to products or
processes that cause harm.
Demand Safer Alternatives from industry and academic researchers.
The structure follows the function…we need to identify and promote safer alternatives to harmful
chemicals, and see to it that the standards for release and production of new ones do not allow
more of the same. This will require the involvement of green chemistry academicians, as well as
sympathetic and supportive industry people. The objective is to identify commercially viable,
effective and earth friendly products.
Demand accountability of regulators in protecting consumers and workers from
harmful chemicals.
We will seek to change the U.S. regulatory standard for introduction and use of synthetic
chemicals based on the precaution principle, as used in the European Union.
Goal II: To preserve and present the Rachel Carson Homestead as a source of inspiration
based on the life of Rachel Carson and her works.
Maintain and preserve the Homestead infrastructure in a manner that displays the time of
the Carson’s inhabitance in the early 1900’s
Present the Carson Homestead as an example of sound energy conservation, land and
garden maintenance and presentation, and suburban habitat diversity.
Present education programs and events consistent with the physical limitations of the
structure to preserve the legacy of Rachel Carson.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors must expand to represent the national scope of the mission. The Board
must be organized to maintain the mission functionality, and have the influence and credibility to
generate the required funds for success.
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RCHA should seek guidance and assistance from the Duquesne University Nonprofit Leadership
Institute, Boards by Design program.
Board Committees:
Executive Committee- meet monthly to review financial decisions, address strategic direction,
and maintain focus on mission priorities within scope of funding.
Development and Finance Committee: fundraising, membership
Expand sustaining funders to 30 to 50 sources;
Increase membership to a national base
Homestead Committee: maintenance and operations of the Homestead, museum functions,
volunteers and docent quality, and local education outreach programs
Marketing Committee: make contacts and connections, review and recommend positions to the
Board through the Executive Committee; oversee the national marketing and action campaign
Institutional Capacity:
Rachel Carson Homestead as a National Historic Landmark – passport portal for National
Park Service; local economic development tie to the Allegheny Valley; Rachel Carson early life
and education; impact and continued relevance of her work; living example of chemical free
home and garden management
National Consumer awareness and advocacy – The credible development of information,
materials and actions will rely on the input and guidance of a national Science Advisory Council
to define issues, review and develop information for the public, and provide expert assistance in
crafting and delivering the message. Focus on positive alternatives and empowering consumer
Revenue generation
For profit subsidiary as a venue (outdoor weddings etc…)
Conferences and workshops (Act 48)
Retail operations-Web based
Gift shop partnerships (eg books through Amazon)
Center for Environmental Oncology
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
River Quest
Women’s Environment and Health Network
Beyond Pesticides
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National Advisory Board
Paul Anastas, Yale University
Rich Liroff, Investors Environmental Health Network
Devra Davis – Cancer Institute Center for Environmental Oncology, University of
Dan Volz – Pitt Graduate School of Public Health
Linda Lear
Tyrone Hayes
Terry Collins - Carnegie Mellon University
David Orr - Oberlin
Randolph A. Miller- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Eric Beckman Mascaro Sustainability Institute, University of Pittsburgh
Roger Christie
Rita Colwell – University of Maryland, Biomolecular Sciences
Mary Ann Baroff, VP Clinical Health, Highmark
Pete Myers – Environmental Health Sciences
David Seybert, Duquesne University
To accomplish the goals of the RCHA for the nest five years, the following charts illustrate a
revised functional organization and structure of the organization.
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Rachel Carson Homestead Association
Functional Organization: 2007 – 2012
Board of Directors
Executive Director
Executive Committee
Development &Finance
Homestead Operations:
Homestead Committee
Outreach Operations
Marketing Committee
Consumer awareness
and education
Gift Shop
On Site and On Line
Education Program
on site and off site
Note: Regulatory advocacy function not currently in place.
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Rachel Carson Homestead Association Strategic Organization
College Interns
Gift Shop
& Off
Web consultant
Web information
Note: Functions in italics are not currently in
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