Mission & History

The people who run nature and environmental learning centers began getting together 28 years ago to share ideas, experiences, and hard-won professional wisdom. Those early conversations soon became the Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA), a professional association dedicated to leaders in the nature and environmental learning center profession, including directors, managers, senior administrators and board members. It is the only such organization in the United States. The ANCA network is designed to enhance professionalism and provide the support system critical to innovative and progressive management.

Mission

The Association of Nature Center Administrators promotes and supports best leadership and management practices for the nature and environmental learning center profession.

History

The Association of Nature Center Administrators is a private nonprofit organization that was founded in 1989 to create a professional association solely of and for leaders in the nature center profession-directors, managers, senior administrators, and Board members. It is the only such organization in the U.S.

In its early years, ANCA operated as an affiliate of the National Institute for Urban Wildlife and then incorporated in Ohio in 1993 as an independent membership organization. ANCA obtained its 501(c)3 status in 1995 and is funded through grants, gifts, memberships, and services. In 2007 the ANCA office moved to Logan, UT.

Today, ANCA embraces and supports 600+ dues-paying members from all over the world. See our Member Map here

5 Year Strategic Plan Highlights

By 2025, ANCA will...

1) Have organizational capacity and financial stability to meet its current and future objectives.

  • Strategy 1.1: Identify, plan for, and secure the components for our financial stability.
  • Strategy 1.2: Identify, plan for, and secure the components for our organizational capacity.

2) Maintain best practices that promote diversity, equity, and inclusiveness within our membership and the profession.

  • Strategy 2.1: Educate ourselves about the issues and practices around DEI.
  • Strategy 2.2: Develop plan for implementing DEI Best Practices for ANCA and our members.
  • Strategy 2.3: Create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive ANCA membership.

3) Continue to recognize and promote its core values while responding and adapting to trends within the dynamic profession.

  • Strategy 3.1: Revisit/redefine ANCA's core values.
  • Strategy 3.2: Communicate core values to the ANCA membership.
  • Strategy 3.3: Facilitate member networking for sharing emerging trends and initiatives.
  • Strategy 3.4: Periodically seek trends affecting the nature center profession within and outside our field.

4) Be the leading source for professional development tools and relevant resources for leaders and aspiring leaders in the nature and environmental center field.

  • Strategy 4.1: Maintain a suite of delivery methods to provide resources for leaders and aspiring leaders.
  • Strategy 4.2: Regularly evaluate delivery methods for effectiveness and seek new ideas and resources.