Our Vision and Goals: Where We Are Going

Historically, the East Tennessee and Southern Appalachian region has been blessed with tremendously diverse and plentiful natural resources, making it one of the most important ecosystems of the world. Today, however, the mountains and rivers, flora and fauna are beginning to show signs of intolerance to generations of human abuses of the land, water, and air. Slowly we have come to learn that to survive as a human society, we need to change and improve the way we live, work and play without jeopardizing the welfare of other creatures who, in our midst, do the same. Through its various projects and programs, FGS seeks to develop an understanding of the ways in which the social and environmental issues facing our region are connected to one another and to larger issues which are evident at a global level. Thus, our motto is "Global Vision/Local Action."

While several of our original programs have gone their own way over the past couple years (call us a victim of our own success!), FGS still has a variety of meaningful projects under way, and is always looking for creative ideas to help us further our mission.

FGS recognizes that diversity creates strength and encourages the participation and cooperation of people from all economic, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds in the work of preserving our natural heritage and our life support systems. With this in mind, FGS works closely with academic institutions, business and civic groups, professional organizations, and the media. Through these associations, FGS assumes a proactive mission of research, activism, advocacy, and public education.

FGS is a full member of Community Shares, a regional fund raising agency for social change groups that is dedicated to addressing the root causes of problems including hunger, homelessness, health care, domestic violence, education, and environmental degradation.

Many human and non-human needs depend upon the effectiveness of organizations such as ours. Essentially, our ability to effectively challenge social and environmental issues, protect the integrity of our regional ecology, and promote and model an ethic of sustainability should and will ultimately be measured by evidence of the quality of the air, land and water, and the presence of biodiversity--evidence which hopefully will mark our organizational success long after we are gone.