Consulting Services

Peer Consulting for Nature and Environmental Learning Centers

With this unique service, a team of three to five seasoned nature center professionals, who have experience relevant to your situation, spend two days of intensive work at your center. Dealing with a range of topics including, starting a nature center, long range and strategic planning preparation, facility and land use planning, capital campaign design, program design, fundraising and fiscal management, and personnel and volunteer management. They interview staff, meet with board members and stakeholders, inspect facilities, and engage in other activities important to your concerns. The Team then offers objective feedback and advice to you in an informal, dynamic, and respectful manner. 

ANCA Peer Consults cost $3,250 plus team member travel expenses. Learn more about ANCA Peer Consults (pdf brochure). Peer Consults can be scheduled throughout the year.

Peer Consult Financial Assistance Program - Next Deadline is October 31, 2018

ANCA offers a Peer Consult financial assistance program to help organizations that may not otherwise be able to afford the full consult fee. There are two application deadlines a year: October 31st, and March 15th. For more information and the application, click here.

PC: Elachee Nature Science Center Peer Consult, February 2011

We are the nature center experts!
To discuss a Consult for your organization contact:
Jen Levy at 435-787-8209 or email.

   “We contacted the folks at ANCA and they pulled together some of the best people in this business on very short notice. The consulting team spent two full days in the park and provided a detailed written report within one month. The process was fun, the cost was reasonable, and the results are tangible - we are moving forward with a revised proposal based on the excellent advice we received from these experts. Thanks to ANCA and its volunteer consultants for providing a very valuable service to our profession!”
                 - Jeff Brown, Director of Educational Operations, Yellowstone Institute

Peer Consult Success Stories


Successful Succession Planning

One of the challenges we face in our work is developing sustainable infrastructure that enables us to pass the reins to the next generation of leadership. Too often we hear of poorly organized transitions that result in chaos, uncertainty, and in some cases, failure. It takes courage to think about what’s next and successful organizations will take the time to develop 
succession plans to ensure smooth transitions of leadership. In 2010, in anticipation of the retirement of long-time executive director Rich Patterson, 
the Indian Creek Nature Center employed an ANCA Peer Consult, and as a result, developed and then implemented a Succession Plan to lead the organization through the transition. 

Read Indian Creek Nature Center Succession Story


A Circle of Leadership and Service

Patty Weisse is a long-term beneficiary of ANCA’s resources and an integral member of the ANCA community. For fifteen years she successfully guided Baltimore Woods Nature Center in a new and unique direction by 
reevaluating policies, rebranding the center, and developing a capacity 
building program. ANCA played an important part by providing networking and leadership opportunities through the annual Summit, the 
Professional Leadership Institute co-sponsored and taught at Delaware Nature Society, and a Peer Consult. Now Patty serves on the ANCA board, presents at Summits, is an ANCA mentor, and is a Peer Consult team member. 

Read Patty's Success Story


From Concept to Nature Preschool, ANCA Networks Count

Elachee Nature Science Center’s connections with ANCA were vital in helping them move from the “wouldn’t it be nice” stage to the “we need to do this” stage. After an ANCA Peer Consult in 2011 with experienced preschool and center directors providing them with energy, recommendations for locations, processes, staffing, logistics, etc., they received a grant to explore market feasibility, financial scenarios, and state licensure requirements. Armed with positive outcomes, bolstered by the ANCA consult, they kick started the idea 
of a capital campaign with their Board to fund both the indoor classroom renovations enhanced by the outdoor nature playscape. Today Elachee’s 
Nature Preschool is up and running and going strong! 

Read Elachee Nature Science Center's Success Story


Bringing Best Practices From All Over the Country to Expand A Center's Vision 

Steve Engel, the Chief Executive Officer of Tamarack Camps, along with his staff and board knew that the aging camp needed to be updated to stay viable. They had dreams of expanding the usage of its year-round facility, but they were not sure how best to proceed. If not handled correctly, they knew that organizational growing pains could cause many unforeseen problems. So as part of the site plan for the capital and endowment campaign to renovate the camp, Tamarack included an ANCA Peer Consult to help them envision a redesigned facility.

After the Consult, Steve concluded, “The consult went above and beyond what we had asked them to do. We not only received a vision of a world-class nature center, the team saw issues that were not even on our radar screen. They helped us reexamine our siloed programs through the lens of Tamarack’s mission and recommended that we look at ourselves as one agency. They even encouraged us to enhance our food services.”

Read Steve's Success Story