Experience: Creating a Real Estate Development Package With Sustainable Design Principles

For Summer 2012, I worked with a team of students and professionals to economically develop a 150-acre plot of University of Montevallo-owned property as an educational Preserve and recreational trail system The proposal was created for presentation to the University of Montevallo Space Utilization Committee, and was proposed as an expansion of  sustainable design elements at the existing James Wylie Shepherd Observatory Complex, a regional leader in deep-sky astronomical observation and future Platinum-LEED facility.

Ultimately, despite our student team having raised over $15,000 for the JWS Observatory site itself, UM faculty were heavily concerned that making such a large ask of our campus planners would create a situation where campus administrators would remove faculty/student control of existing “green” infrastructure projects on campus, and so blocked the project proposal from ever reaching the SUC. Though the vision of the project proposal went unrealized, I am very proud of my work in packaging all aspects of the project for public and private presentation to potential community and regional supporters.

Throughout the entire process, I held firmly to a core belief that the environmental preservation of the campus property would be best pursued by showing how a Preserve could bring new eco-tourism and recreational programming to our community. Additionally, at the heart of the proposal was the support of nearby communities and volunteer organizations who had already seen highly beneficial eco-tourism dollars enter their local economies by way of similar trail development/environmental preservation projects.

Below are all the proposal package components, created by myself in constant collaboration with our team of volunteers.

This is the official proposal for the project.

Gentry Springs Preserve Proposal

This is our comprehensive presentation created to showcase to the UM Space Utilization Committee (last 7 pages are incomplete).

Preserve Presentation 9.04.2012

This is the proposed draft “Land Management Document”, detailing all proposed allowable/prohibited uses of property, composition and responsibility of property supervisory Board, and short/long-term goals for the development of the property.

DRAFT- Gentry Springs Preserve- Land Management Document

Report detailing an itinerary of future implementation actions for the proposal.

Timeline Projection

This draft document outlined opportunities for incorporating existing university courses into educational outdoor programming at the property.

Draft Proposal- Student Service Learning Project Potential at Gentry Springs JWSO Preserve(1)

This reference sheet was created to ensure that all student team members could articulate the core messaging points of the proposal.

Preserve Project Details and Benefits- Core Messaging Points

This document represents a five-tiered advocacy campaign proposed by myself and our student team to ensure large-scale campus/community support for the project.

Potential UMEC Advocacy Campaign for the Gentry Springs Preserve Project

The following form letters were created as the first phase of a large-scale fundraising/support campaign for the project. These letters were intended to help present the diverse community benefits of moving forward with the project proposal.

Dear Representative of a Local or Regional Environmental Organization

Dear Representative of a Water-Related Environmental Organization

Dear Local or Regional Church Official

Dear Local School Principal or School Board Official

Report explaining past public relations capabilities (identical to “Public Relations Experience” blog entries).

Public Appeal

The image below is of the proposed trail system. Each color corresponds to a specific phase of trail construction (more accurate image, with explanation key, to come)

Trails Map in Progress-01


About traywickaaron

I'm a world traveler always in pursuit of love, adventure, and abundance. My mission in life is to actualize my contribution in this world as far as it can go, and I make that happen through following my two core passions: writing, and learning new skills. Talk to me anytime, if you want to learn more!
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