About + Jerome’s Retirement Plan

2014-08-09 11.33.05The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) is a 501(c)(3) sustainable agricultural education center where ecological gardening, edible landscaping, market farming, forest gardening, horticultural and sustainability skills, and greenhouse design and management have been taught since 1987. CRMPI empowers individuals and communities to become healthy and resilient through sustainable cultivation of abundant foods and natural resources.  By providing workshops, courses, internships and a demonstration site, CRMPI has taught over 3,000 students/interns from around the world to practice sustainable living through permaculture.  It also provides tours and field trips to the public, giving many insights to the value of permaculture in food sustainability and security.

We are one of the oldest continually operating permaculture facilities in the United States – and we’re continuing to break new ground, now accepting registrations for our pioneering immersion training, the Permaculture Academy!

Visit us for a day, and experience our hands-on demonstration site tours of our mature forest gardens and pioneering passive-solar greenhouses here at a 7,200′ altitude in beautiful Basalt, CO.

Sample tropical – yes, tropical! – fruits from our on-site edible landscaping nursery. Chat with founder and director Jerome Osentowski and connect with our faculty and grads,  some of whom are also recognized permaculture leaders!

Discover why we don’t just inspire hope for the future. At CRMPI, we live it, breathe it, build it…and teach it.

Dying to see more of CRMPI but can’t make it out for a visit? We have tons of pictures and videos of our daily duties!

Jerome’s Retirement Plan

Over the coming year, CRMPI will undertake a succession-, financial- and strategic-planning process, involving the board, staff and other stakeholders in the organization. This will have to occur while CRMPI continues to carry out its ongoing educational programs, so it will place additional burdens on staff and will require extra resources outside of the operations budget.

The process will consist of the following:

  • Initial staff and stakeholder scoping sessions – designed to review organizational strengths and weaknesses, assess emerging needs and opportunities in the community, discuss and prioritize options, and make preliminary recommendations to the board
  • Board decision-making sessions – a series of facilitated workshops designed to culminate in strategic decisions on mission/vision, organizational structure, succession, programs, facilities needs, site ownership, staffing, finances, funding, etc.
  • Additional board training, team-building, gap analysis and expansion of the board

The tangible products of this process will be:

  • A succession plan – this will outline an intentional management transition, to be phased out over two to three years, along with a fundraising strategy for financing the increased staffing costs
  • A financial restructuring plan – this will identify a preferred strategy for leasing or buying the CRMPI property from Jerome, out of a range of options (e.g., increased lease payments to Jerome; capital campaign to purchase property; reverse mortgage-type financial arrangements, etc.)
  • A five-year strategic plan – the most substantial of the deliverables, this will specify CRMPI’s goals for the five-year period (programs, staffing, site ownership, site/facilities planning, funding, board development, etc.) and detail specific strategies for achieving them

The overall result of this process will be a re-energized, strategically refocused CRMPI that is ready to begin developing a new suite of programs designed to support and accelerate the growth of the Roaring Fork Valley’s local agriculture economy. While it would be premature to predict exactly what these programs will be, it is fair to say that CRMPI sees potentially strong demand for bringing its permaculture wisdom and hands-on learning to local school grounds and college campuses.

Funding this transformation is a high-leverage investment. It will bootstrap a small, inspiring but underperforming organization into one that is appropriately scaled and structured to deliver major benefits to our valley community – to schoolchildren and their parents and teachers, to local farmers building a more resilient local food ecosystem, and to consumers who will benefit from healthy, local food choices.

Please consider donating to this succession process!