Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition Nonprofit Annual Report FY 2013

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1 Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition Nonprofit Annual Report FY 2013 February 2014

2 February 2014 Letter from the Chair In the spring of 1999, a group of community advocates including county, local, regional and private interests came together to discuss the importance and beauty of the Indian River Lagoon. At that time the group was introduced to the Florida Scenic Highways Program and the National Scenic Byway Program by the Florida Department of Transportation. These programs were established to help identify the best of the best in highways that offer a visitor the journey to remember for a lifetime. These community advocates recognized the importance of a scenic highway designation as a tool to tell the story of the Indian River Lagoon, take advantage of potential grant opportunities made available through the program, and use this scenic highway designation as an economic development tool to help support the region. Ultimately the corridor was designated a Florida Scenic Highway in 2000 and a National Scenic Byway in The Ted Moorhead Lagoon House (US 1) in Palm Bay and a number of other byway based community projects are the direct result of these scenic highway designations. Nearly $3,000,000 in donations and grant funding has been brought to the region to accomplish real projects. The Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition recently celebrated its 13 year anniversary as an advocate for the Lagoon and its surrounding resources. In addition to its success in funding projects, the Coalition is now a federally recognized 501c3 organization with a corridor web site, high quality marketing materials that promote the intrinsic resources of this 195 mile byway, and a growing membership base. We are also pleased to announce that the City of Titusville, one of our founding partners has taken the lead on an effort to extend the Byway northward to surround the upper reaches of the lagoon. The Coalition remains devoted to the mission of the Florida Scenic Highways Program of preserving, protecting and enhancing the intrinsic resources of the region through community based partnerships to promote economic prosperity through the enjoyment of its resources.

3 I am pleased to submit the attached 2013 Annual Report for the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition. It reflects constant organizational growth and focused energy consistent with our mission and long term vision. If you have additional questions, please refer to our website or contact me directly at Sincerely, Tim Ford, President, Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition

4 Our Core Principles Our Story In April of 1999, 36 community advocates representing Brevard and Indian River Counties, eight municipalities, the St John s River Water Management District, the Florida Inland Navigation District and a number of community organizations came together to discuss the importance and beauty of the Indian River Lagoon. After being introduced to the National Scenic Byways program and the Florida Scenic Highways Program by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), this coalition of regional advocates voted unanimously to seek designation as a Florida Scenic Highway. The group decided at that time to ask for sponsorship from the Marine Resources Council (MRC), a regional 501c3 not-for-profit organization with a mission and vision that is similar to that of the Coalition. The MRC subsequently voted to approve the sponsorship. The proposed roadway network around the Indian River Lagoon was designated a Florida Scenic Highway by FDOT in 2000 and then a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration in Corridor extensions to Fellsmere and Pineapple Avenue were completed soon after. The Ted Moorhead Lagoon House in Palm Bay and a number of other byway based community projects around the Byway are the direct result of these designations. Nearly $3,000,000 in donations and grant funding has been brought to the region to accomplish real projects along the Byway including the recently awarded National Scenic Byways grant to construct a byway visitor s center in the City of Fellsmere. This track record of success continues to this day. Membership is increasing; the Coalition continues to follow its mission with an eye towards a future that includes organizational sustainability, strong partnerships, community education and advocacy for the intrinsic resources of the Indian River Lagoon. Mission The mission of the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition is to encourage visitors to the 195 mile byway on Florida s central east coast to experience the corridor s unique natural, historic and cultural resources. These resources include the most diverse estuary in North America with over 4,000 species of plants and animals, and both the home of the Kennedy Space Center and site of Juan Ponce de Leon s first landing. Our Defining Values Appreciation for the resources of the Indian River Lagoon Building a vibrant local economy

5 Appreciation for the balance between community needs and the natural beauty of the region Maintaining strong partnerships with other community advocacy groups having similar interests Recent Achievements The Coalition has a long list of significant accomplishments. The Ted Moorhead Lagoon House is the centerpiece of the Coalition s early educational and enhancement efforts along the Byway. This facility, located in Palm Bay, opened in 2005 and has served as the region s focal point for educational and resource preservation of the Indian River Lagoon s natural resources. More recent accomplishments include: Initiated upgrades to the Byway web site Multiple reprinting s of the Byway informational brochure Initiated design of a visitor information facility at the south end of the Byway (City of Fellsmere) Remain a State of Florida Corporation and a tax exempt, nonprofit organization under Section 501c3 of the IRS Code Ongoing membership drive and major donor campaign Active Byway Speakers Bureau Establishment of a monthly guest lecturer series as part of monthly Board meetings Initiated efforts for Level II Byway Accreditation through the Florida Department of Transportation/District V s Achieving Excellence Program Created graphics representing byway resources to include within an informational kiosk donated by the City of Titusville at the Rotary Riverfront Park

6 Specific Programs/Case Studies

7 IRLNSB Coalition: Project Fact Sheet Florida Department of Transportation - Level II Accreditation Background: The Florida Department of Transportation/District V Achieving Excellence Program is the nation s first accreditation program for scenic byway organizations. Accreditation is based on implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that have been developed and tailored specifically for District V Corridor Management Entities (CME). The BMPs provide specific guidelines in areas critical to developing and maintaining an organization that is capable of meeting its goals and objectives. Accreditation is an honor and a mark of distinction, indicating the CME deserves recognition for its operational capabilities and for meeting standards of excellence. Since accreditation is determined by an external, independent review, it offers a true and verifiable acknowledgement that the organization s policies and procedures meet current industry standards. Nonprofit organizations are consistently asked to demonstrate their accountability, and the recognition provided by this program offers enhanced credibility to donors, partners, members, and the public. Current Status: Level I Accreditation received in fall of Cost: Volunteer labor Schedule: Receipt Level II Accreditation anticipated in 2015 based on volunteer support Additional Questions: Tim Ford, Coalition President,

8 IRLNSB Coalition: Project Fact Sheet National Scenic Byway Grant Award to the City of Fellsmere Background: The City of Fellsmere was awarded a $316,500 grant through the National Scenic Byway Program (NSB) to build a welcome center on County Road 512 adjacent to Fellsmere's Trailhead Preserve. This facility will serve as a welcome center for visitors to Indian River County and the southern reaches of the Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway. The City of Fellsmere and the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce partnered in the development of the grant package. The City will match grant funds with $148,500 for completion of the project. This is the first grant received to help implement the scenic byway program in Indian River County. City plans call for the construction of a 1,200-square-foot visitor center adjacent to Trailhead Preserve Park. The site will include improvements for parking, roadway access and sidewalks, as well as landscaping and educational signage regarding local vegetation, wildlife and history of Fellsmere. The center is envisioned to be self-service at first, but structured so that it can be staffed as the area develops. Current Status: Grant awarded in summer of Project is currently in the planning and design phase. The environmental study is nearing completion with final submittal anticipated in early Design is also nearing completion with 100% plans and specifications expected in early 2014 as well. All project elements are on target for release of bids in fall 2014 with construction to commence thereafter with completion anticipated in fall Cost: NSB award: $316,500, Local match: $148,500 Additional Questions: City of Fellsmere - Jason Nunemaker,

9 IRLNSB Coalition: Project Fact Sheet Informational Kiosk Program Background: The Coalition initiated an informational kiosk program in The intent of the program is to offer residents and visitors information on the Coalition and region specific byway information based on the location of each kiosk. The Coalition s goal is to fund, site and install from small informational kiosks around the byway. This is expected to be a multi-year effort based on funding and the identification of specific locations. Current Status: In the fall of 2013 the Coalition, working in partnership with the City of Titusville identified a site for the first of these kiosks. The City has donated a pre-existing kiosk in Rotary-Riverfront Park located in downtown Titusville along the Byway. The Coalition has developed and received approval for the materials to be displayed in this kiosk. Informational graphics are to be installed in early Additionally, the Coalition recently applied to the Gannett Foundation for funding to design/install two additional kiosks. The Coalition awaits notice of award for this grant (expected January 2014). Cost: No cost for first kiosk (Titusville). Gannett Foundation grant request was for $4,000. Additional Questions: Richard Stillwagon, Project Manager - City of Titusville,

10 Goals and Objectives for 2014 Upgrade the Byway web site with new information, merchandise purchasing options and updates to many of the existing features Distribution of Byway informational materials Conduct a Byway fundraising event Fund the construction of three informational kiosks Increase membership by 30% Continue design work on the Fellsmere visitor center Continue to implement the major donor plan

11 Financial Report FY 2013

12 Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway 2013 Operating Budget Financial Statement YEAR TO DATE 1/1/13-12/31/13 REVENUE REVENUE a.) Grants a.) Grants Tourist Development (Brochures) (In-Kind) $ 2,500 Tourist Development (Brochures) (In-Kind) $ 2, Sebastian Chamber (Hosting) (In-Kind) $ 100 Sebastian Chamber (Hosting) (In-Kind) $ - Sebastian Chamber (Website Maintenance) (In-Kind) $ 1,200 Sebastian Chamber (Website Maintenance) (In-Kind) $ 1,200 Total Grants $ 3,800 Total Grants $ 3,700 b.) Donations b.) Donations Donations (General) $ 2,000 Donations (General) $ 150 Total Donations: $ 2,000 Total Donations: $ 150 c.) Sales Online Store $500 c.) Sales Online Store $ - Total Sales: $ 500 Total Sales: $0 Total Projected Revenue: $ 6,300 Total Revenue: $ 3,850 EXPENSES EXPENSES Professional Fees & Services Professional Fees & Services Print Brochures $ 2,500 Print Brochures (In-Kind) $ 2,500 Website Hosting $ 100 Website Hosting $ 72 Website Maintenance $ 1,200 Website Maintenance (In-Kind) $ 1,200 Website Fees (Domain & Store) $ 200 Website Fees (Store) $ - Annual Corporate Dues $ 500 Website Domain Renewals (In-Kind) $ Meeting Costs $ 50 Annual Corporate Dues (In-Kind) $ Postage $ 500 Meeting Costs $ - Office Supplies $ 500 Postage $ 76 Office Supplies $ - Total Professional Fees & Services: $ 5,550 Total Professional Fees & Services: $ 3, Total Projected Expenses: $ 5,550 Total Expenses: $ 3, DIFFERENCE: $ 750 DIFFERENCE: -$101.51

13 Recent Donors Ron Jons Surf Shop Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce Richard Stillwagon Mike Palozzi ***Information current as of December 1, 2013 ** We thank all those individuals, corporations, foundations and government agencies that have contributed so generously to our organization **

14 Current Board of Directors (FY 2014) Officers Tim Ford, President Bob Day, Vice President Marsha Cantrell, Secretary Nicole Capp-Holbrook, Treasurer Board Members Celeste Henry Kathe Brewer Susan Adams Beth Blackford Richard Stillwagon Technical Advisors (FY 2014) Florida Department of Transportation/Districts 4 & 5

15 Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc P.O. Box Rockledge, Fl Indian River Lagoon National Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation

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