LCIP will be under a restructuring period from May to December 2022. Our organizational funding has dwindled to a point of minimal income. We have accepted the 30-day notice resignation of the Executive Director, Chris Gaetzke in early April and he will stay on as a board member in May 2022. The LCIP office location will be closing as well. Informational items will be stored in the lobby of the Menomonie Public Library until September 2022. We will be closing the LCIP Facebook page on April 29th. We will keep our website, phone, and firstname.lastname@example.org email. Please see the following statement from the LCIP Board for more details below. Thank you for your participation and support over these past 11 years! We are hopeful for a better return soon!
Lower Chippewa Invasives Partnership to restructure activities starting May 2nd until further notice
April 8th, 2022
From: Doug, Brad, and Judy (LCIP Board)
To: All Members, Supporters, and Friends of LCIP, Inc.
With heavy hearts, the LCIP Board has accepted Chris’s 30-day notice of resignation, which comes because of an ongoing funding shortfall. He plans to continue in his current role until April 30th. LCIP will need to restructure around a board and member-driven structure. Renewal will be possible only if sufficient support becomes available. We were not able to present this decision at the annual meeting as we had several subsequent meetings with potential funders. Once we had those numbers in hand, Chris made the hard decision to resign.
The organization, under Chris’ leadership and with the support of all the members, has had an amazing array of projects and programs with the goal of finding the right balance between leaving nature alone and slowing the spread of invasive plants from other continents that invade our region, having little-or-no natural controls, which put our native plants at risk.
Our ongoing challenge has been to find a way to use chemical applications minimally and wisely to stop the spread. The work of LCIP has caused controversy in the community, with those who remain critical of any chemical use. Chris has done a great job demonstrating success in many project areas, which in turn, helps to educate by example.
As a board, we are making hard decisions, which likely will include letting go of the office space and storing all office supplies. Acquiring funding for the work we’ve been doing is not easy, since it can include removing treasured plants. If at some point, we could combine the current mission of LCIP with a greenhouse project where replacement plants could be grown, that combination might put a friendlier face on the work of LCIP.
The Board will be moving forward with slowing things down for now, while prospecting for funding for a renewed mission under more solid footing. We are extremely grateful to the Gale Family Foundation, which has provided the bulk of financial support and great encouragement for LCIP over the past 6 years. We look forward to the new opportunities that will allow us to return better than ever.
Chris has been monitoring the budget and is leaving enough unrestricted funding to be able to cover essentials, which should be minimal for the time being. He will also be available as an independent contractor for consulting purposes as needed after May 2nd.
Our April 28th meeting will be held as scheduled, where we will discuss further details. Our desire is to find members to fill the gaps, allowing our mission to continue as we strive to meet current contract requirements. Please feel free to reach out to any of us at any time.
LCIP Board of Directors