This online handbook and training module was created to assist watershed groups in preparing and conducting stakeholder outreach and public education campaigns. It provides advice on how to collect information about your target audience, how to package and distribute your message and what resources you might tap to implement your campaign.
Most watershed groups have heard of best management practices, but do you know what best education practices to employ in your outreach campaign? This Web site includes a wide range of resources for setting up or improving an education or outreach program.
Watershed planning is a collaborative process, but of course that doesn't mean that everyone always agrees. This resource from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension describes the collaborative process and various methods of dispute resolution. Read it ahead of time to be prepared for any tension that might develop in your watershed meetings.
This Natural Resources Conservation Service publication outlines eleven steps to setting up and running a public meeting. The focus of the publication is logistics – facilitation skills required to help the meeting run smoothly are not included.
When you encounter conflict, do you fight or prepare for flight? How do you deal with the committee member who complains about everything, but never offers solutions? This html-based fact sheet packs a lot of useful information into a small publication, including five different reactions people commonly have to conflict and tips for dealing with seven difficult personalities that may arouse conflict.
This manual from an experienced watershed group is packed full of ideas and practical advice on how to start a clean-up program. Whether you've never conducted a clean-up or have been doing them for years, you'll find this guide useful.
Volunteers are important for watershed groups. Whether they sit on the steering committee or make monthly sampling runs, their valuable help contributes to the success of the entire effort. So, how do you recruit and retain good volunteers? Take a look at this Microsoft PowerPoint presentation for ideas.
Connecting with these programs will help you to find volunteers in your community for your project. AmeriCorps volunteers are generally young adults ages 18-24 who sign up for a 10 month commitment. RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) connects seniors to local volunteer opportunities in their communities.
Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) provides educators with interdisciplinary training and lesson plans emphasizing the importance of water resources. Activities and plans provided in the Project WET guide are correlated to Indiana state educational standards.
This Web site includes some basic science tools for kids and teachers to help children understand some basic concepts of the atmosphere and climate. Segments on this page include water, air, weather and general science.
This Web site includes resources for teachers and high school and college students on topics such as water quality, watersheds, aquatic ecology, and data interpretation. Resources available include learning modules, Powerpoint presentations, and lesson plans.
This Web site has something for everyone – from the beginning stakeholder to the experienced watershed coordinator. Click on the "What's a…" link for short videos that explain the watershed concept. Additional resources help stakeholders find out their hydrologic unit code and learn about the TMDL process.
Persuading landowners to change behavior is difficult enough when they are local and may have heard of your organization – but communicating with an remote landowner to evoke change can seem absolutely impossible. Agren’s toolkit for Engaging Absentee Landowners in Conservation provides tips to make the most of your contacts with this hard-to-reach audience.
This Web site targets land use education to local officials. Start with the "Tools and Resources" section. Especially check out, under "Publications," the Fact Sheets Soapbox Editorials. You'll need to sift through the Connecticut-specific information to get to wide-range applicable materials, but we think it's worth it.
Influence the process of community decision making:
Wetlands provide valuable services to the people in their communities, but Indiana has lost 85% of its wetlands since the 1780s. Use this publication to talk to your local officials about the benefits of saving the remaining wetland acres in your watershed. The permitting information is for Wisconsin specifically, but the information on wetland benefits can be used in any state.
Getting to behavioral change is more than sending out newsletters and posting flyers. It requires a thorough understanding of the audience and why they are not behaving in the desired way. This handbook provides a primer on social marketing theory, as well as practical examples, worksheets and additional resources directly geared toward watershed groups and water quality-related behavioral change.
Research has shown that natural resources marketing is not like commercial marketing. We are not selling a product – we are selling behavioral change. This Web site provides a forum for natural resource professionals to share their experiences, scientific studies and advice related to community outreach in an effort to spread success, reduce duplication and make our environment a better place to live. Also available for free download on the site is the book Fostering Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing, which describes a successful approach to change natural resource-related behavior in a community.
Using the media to get the word out about a watershed planning effort will help you to reach many more people than public meetings or workshops. But how do you get the media's attention? Use this NRCS publication to learn some tips on how to get your watershed story in print or on the air.
An online clearinghouse of outreach materials, the NPS Outreach Toolbox provides downloadable materials for TV, radio and print. With the right editing and design skills, any of these materials can be customized for use within your local watershed.
This comparison is the final product of a project presented by participants in the Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy in 2008. It compares different means of delivering e-news and the costs, advantages, and disadvantages of each. If you are interested in building a large e-distribution list and would like to learn the different ways you can manage your membership, this is a good synopsis.