Vision 2020: A Trail Map for the Next Decade

Five Strategic Initiatives

Vision 2020 is based on five strategic initiatives that leverage AMC’s unique capabilities in outdoor recreation, education, and conservation:

1. Expanding the Size, Breadth, and Strength of the AMC Community

AMC has always been about connecting people to the outdoors and actively engaging them in a way that encourages the stewardship and understanding of our natural resources. Through this initiative, we will broaden and strengthen our community of online constituents, members, guests, volunteers, and donors.

Key elements of this initiative include:

  • Growing our membership to 100,000.

  • Developing partnerships that broaden our diversity and reflect our region.

  • Attracting more young adults to AMC, with a particular focus on college outing clubs.

  • Building communities online that reach new audiences, leverage AMC’s expertise, and encourage online constituents to form a deeper relationship with the AMC and the outdoors.

2. Getting Kids Outdoors

Many of our members began their lifelong passion for the outdoors when they were young–through a family camping trip, exploring a local park with grandparents, or backpacking or paddling at a summer camp. AMC’s goal is to make these kinds of transformative outdoor experiences available to as many young people as possible – wherever they live and regardless of resources. We plan to serve 200,000 youth directly and encourage another 300,000 to get outdoors through partnerships, online and print information, and training leaders to take youth outdoors.

Key elements of this initiative include:

  • Expanding AMC’s Youth Opportunities Program for urban and at-risk youth at existing and new locations.

  • Increasing the use of AMC destinations close to urban areas, such as Ponkapoag Camp, Noble View Outdoor Center, and the Mohican Outdoor Center as launching pads for deeper outdoor experiences.

  • Expanding programs for younger children, including our Wee Wanderers and Jr. Naturalist programs, and providing training that gets young families outdoors.

  • Broadening the range of family activities offered throughout our region by AMC chapters and local partners, and increasing number and variety of outdoor activities that get existing, new, and more diverse groups outdoors.

  • Expanding hut and lodge based programs and amenities for families, schools and youth groups.

  • Advocating for local, state, and national policy in support of getting youth outside.

  • Launching Kids Outdoors, a free online resource for families in the Boston, New York, and Philadelphia metro areas.

3. Leading Regional Conservation Action

AMC’s long experience in promoting landscape level conservation from Maine to Washington DC, our large and active volunteer and outdoor recreation community, and our history of coalition building around regional conservation issues puts us in an exceptional position to address the challenges facing our region and nation in the coming decade.

Key elements of this initiative include:

  • Protecting and maintaining 2,500 miles of trails.

  • Working with partners to protect an additional 2 million acres from development.

  • Expanding AMC’s capacity to offer professional trails assistance to other organizations.

  • Expanding teen trail crew opportunities and developing a regional Youth Conservation Corps.

  • Growing our river and waterway expertise and involvement.

  • Catalyzing growth, stewardship, and use of close-to-home trails like the Bay Circuit Trail and Greenway in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Highlands Trail Network (PHTN).

  • Increasing the number and impact of conservation advocates.

  • Educating and motivating members, guests, and other outdoors people on ways to reduce their recreation-driven carbon footprint.

4. Realizing the Larger Opportunity in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness through AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative

AMC has invested heavily in protecting one of the last great wildernesses in the East. To date, AMC has permanently protected close to 70,000 acres of forestland, created 25,000 acres of ecological and forest reserves, restored three historic sporting camps, added critical protection to an important section of the Appalachian Trail, and developed a 90-mile trail network connecting them to a variety of hiking, skiing, paddling, and fly fishing opportunities.

We will build on these remarkable accomplishments in the last ten years by:

  • Promoting the 100-Mile Wilderness region as a world-class destination for outdoor recreation.

  • Expanding recreational opportunities through additional trails and backcountry camping options.

  • Building a broad coalition in support of outdoor recreation, environmental education and conservation in Maine.

  • Creating a new replicable model for landscape-scale conservation, backcountry recreation, public access, and economic sustainability.

  • Protecting 800,000 additional acres, primarily through partnerships.

  • Strengthening our sustainable forestry program as a regional model for balancing recreation and forestry.

  • Greatly expand the role and capacity of AMC’s Maine Chapter in the Maine Woods Initiative and Maine conservation and recreation leadership overall.

5. Advancing Excellence in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership Training

AMC has been providing quality outdoor leadership training for well over a century, and is a recognized leader in providing safe and high quality outdoor experiences throughout the Northeast. We see a critical need to further expand our capacity in these areas in order to serve the broadest possible constituency and achieve our youth and conservation goals.

Key elements of this initiative include:

  • Preparing people for a lifetime of enjoying the outdoors.

  • Demonstrating the highest levels of environmental stewardship, education, and sustainability at all destinations.

  • Welcoming new audiences to our AMC Huts and Lodges, Shelters, and Volunteer Managed Facilities as a first step in introducing them to the outdoors.

  • Strengthening and expanding our staff and volunteer leadership and leadership training capacity.

  • Creating a new AMC Center for Outdoor Leadership as a focal point for leadership and skills training.

  • Providing a broad range of activities and outdoor skills programs for families, adults, and teens.