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Business of the Month: November 2021

Trees For Tomorrow

November Business of the Month

Congratulations to:

Trees for Tomorrow 

519 E. Sheridan Street

Eagle River, WI  54521

Phone: (715) 479-6456

We are pleased to have had the opportunity recently to interview Cheryl Todea, the new Executive Director of Trees For Tomorrow and learn more about their non-profit organization.

What is the Mission of Trees For Tomorrow?

The mission of Trees For Tomorrow is to promote the sustainable use of natural resources through transformative educational experiences. A Trees For Tomorrow experience is important because our field-based programs place people in direct contact with the natural resources that support human needs, and we provide the knowledge and skills that lead to responsible lifestyle choices. A Trees For Tomorrow experience can inspire informed participation in policy-making, promote stewardship and renewal of natural resources for future generations.

As the new Executive Director for Trees for Tomorrow, tell us a little about yourself. 

As a Trees For Tomorrow alumni myself, I can honestly say this is a life changing experience for many of our students, including me. While I had many new experiences as a student, the biggest impact was on my career path. My Trees For Tomorrow experience literally altered my life path in so many amazing ways! I came back after college as a teaching intern, became a full-time educator, was promoted to Operations Manager, and am now the Executive Director. Because of my experience as a student, I moved to Eagle River more than 20 years ago and am proud to have a great respect for nature and call the Northwoods home.      

How many employed staff and volunteers do you have?

We have 19 employees and dozens of volunteers. Our employees consist of professional environmental science educators who develop and teach our programs, hospitality staff who prepare hot meals and keep our facilities clean, a maintenance manager who keeps our campus safe and maintained, and office and administrative staff who fundraise, market our programs, manage our staff and volunteers, and manage our main office. We have dozens of volunteers who serve on our board of directors, serve on our advisory council, assist with administrative projects and special events, help maintain our campus, and assist our educators. We also work with a variety of partners from local community groups.

Tell us about your programs.

Trees For Tomorrow provides day and overnight year-round programs and activities focused on recreation, outdoor skills, and the science of nature for youth, families, and adults. We provide programs for schools, families, youth groups, businesses, church groups, and anyone interested in learning more about nature and recreation. Our programs may be an hour or a full week. We provide custom experiences that include guided adventures, virtual programs, activities in other communities for schools and youth groups, and much more. We also provide meeting space and meals for training sessions, family gatherings, birthday parties, and a variety of group gatherings. Our professional educators, full-service hospitality staff, and a campus with meeting space, classrooms, dining hall, and dorms, enables us to host a variety of groups and a variety of programs.

Is Trees For Tomorrow unique among other like-minded non-profit organizations?

Trees For Tomorrow is unique from other environmental education centers because our lessons are customized to meet the needs of the groups we work with. In addition, with Trees For Tomorrow’s campus just miles from more than half a million acres of national, state, and county forest we have access to some of the best natural areas in Wisconsin for hiking, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing, and exploring with our students.

What is your model for growth?

As an education center we are always looking for ways to improve. We are currently focused on expanding and diversifying our program opportunities for the local community and evaluating and updating our K12 School Program curriculum. In addition, we are working to strengthen relationships with our community partners. As we work towards diversifying our funding sources, we are also focused on strengthening relationships with our donors to ensure we can continue to provide affordable programs to all students of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay full program fees. As an organization that teaches about sustainability, we are always working on better reflecting our mission as well in all aspects of operations.

What feedback do you receive from people who have attended your programming?  

I am fortunate to talk to many Trees For Tomorrow alumni from all walks of life and all ages. One of our oldest alumni regularly comments on how important Trees For Tomorrow’s mission is. He says “it’s right in your name – Trees For Tomorrow. Just like planting a tree so we have a healthy forest for tomorrow, you are educating youth today so we have a healthy planet tomorrow.”

Congratulations to Trees For Tomorrow!

Do you have a Vilas County business that you would like to nominate for a Business of the Month award?  Contact Vilas County Executive Director Kathy Schmitz at [email protected] 

Do you know of a wonderful Vilas County business?

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