Getting started: by VGLW5vR


									Getting started:
      > Dylan Mendenhall        – For starting a Friends
Group from scratch, get started simply by inviting a few friends to come out with you
on a Saturday morning. All you need is a few committed volunteers to be your core.
After that, you can continue inviting people you know. Invite your neighbors. Knock
on doors. Put up fliers in the neighborhood. Whatever you’re comfortable with. It is
important to have a regular monthly event, and to leave information about it in
conspicuous locations; that way people always know where to go if they want to get
        > Lex Voorhoeve – We started out working on the
trails, partly because that is what the public needed in the first
place, partly because it is such satisfying work: you see the actual
result of your sweat equity. The restoration work started two year
later and by then the trails group was big enough to include a group of
restoration interested people.
    > From Sharon Baker at Lincoln Park:
   Initially, flyers at houses near the Park, conversing with everyone I could rouse

Getting the word out:
      > Diane (Dee) – Use your neighborhood listservs.
      > Ann Stevens – Not a new idea but we        use a
sandwich board at the site while we are working, with little slips of
paper attached with contact
information.      The slips get taken and we do get questions.
       > Dylan Mendenhall – An effective way to meet
people and inspire new volunteers is to simply have a presence out in your green
space. For example, by working near the trails, you can greet park visitors as they
come by. Strike up some conversation and let them know when/where they can get
involved. The curious passerby sees your site under restoration and wonders, “what’s
going on here?” Leave signage for the masses.
       > Lex Voorhoeve – When in 2000 we started to
restore our trails system in Carkeek Park we put up signs at all the
entrances of the park, a week prior to a work party so that all the
joggers and dog-walkers would know what was going on. Soon we had a
reliable core of volunteers. Also, when we were working on the trails,
passers by asked what we were doing, and many of them would join then
and there, or come back the next time.
       > West Seattle Stewards (Sharon Baker –
    Get signage about Green Seattle Partnership posted at each site
    Kiosks or signs that explain GSP, the restoration at the site, how to volunteer
    Educational signage about what is happening and how habitat improves
    Camp Long offer a volunteer recruitment workshop
    Use the internet like the West Seattle Blog
    Green Seattle Partnership may be able to provide: contact list of local businesses
           and schools near a site, maps of restoration sites and schools near them
    Frequent a local business and get to know the staff and patrons
    Attend and announce work parties at neighborhood councils
   Get to know your neighborhood service center coordinator
   Get access to non-violent offenders required to do community service
   Talk to parents about service hours for their high school aged kids, do more
          outreach to schools about service through Green Seattle Partnership
   Recruit more at schools and churches
   Do presentations at service clubs
   Have flyers at work parties to pass out to park users while working
   Have a web based forum on restoration and West Seattle parks
   Go to the Night Out block parties to recruit or even host one
   Share booth costs and staffing – piggy back on with like-minded groups like
          Sustainable West Seattle e.g. Sunday farmer’s market
   Create a Forest Steward business card
   Post sandwich boards at work sites the day before and during work parties
   Helps to have a person who motivates others
   Peer pressure and reminders from neighbors
   Advertising as a group, use GSP website more
   Share information about parks locations using maps, like the Parks Guide
   Create a map of Green Seattle Partnership restoration sites in West Seattle with
          contact information for volunteering
   Partnerships: Establish them with schools within walking distance of the park,
          Establish relationship with the local businesses near parks, Try to get a
          programmatic connection to universities or their service clubs, Watershed
          groups – and look to Aquatic Habitat Matching Funds (Deadline Sept 8)
   Internet recruiting resources
   West Seattle Blog
 (the source of lots of volunteers on MLK day)
   Sheila Brown does a weekly column for the West Seattle Herald web site and does
          a plant of the month. Input from others would be very welcome
      > Jay Miro at Longfellow-Brandon St Natural Area:
   Flyers don’t seem to work
   Get on the list of volunteer activities for the Parks Department
   Enlist celebrities to enliven work parties and get name out (Rat City Roller Girls)
   Work with Seattle Works agencies
   Work with the King County Conservation District
      > From Barbara Banks at Orchard Street Ravine:
   GPS website
   West Seattle Blog
   MOCA news
   West Seattle Herald
   Good turn out for special events like a big planting
   Would love a kiosk to post recruitment and educational materials
   Suggests a city wide campaign as was done for garden poisons. Include a flyer with
          utilities bills with tips on immediate action people could take (survival rings
          around trees) and list of community resources and volunteer events. Promote
           culture of using native plants with radio and TV ads. Recruit young people to
           be “weekend green warriors” and rotate to different restoration sites with
           food, transportation and community service credit. Recognition program for
           active volunteers (web site recognition, photos, chance to submit grants to
           carry out their ideas.
       > From Mike Arizona at Longfellow Delridge
    Websites including:
    Keep e mail list of participants and send out reminders of events
    Take part in Green Seattle Day and MLK day of service
    Would like to have a sign on site announcing events
       > Jeff Sifferman at Me Kwa Mooks:
    Maintain relationship with Parks, EarthCorp and GSP in order to get large,
           organized work parties. Doesn’t result in ongoing volunteers.
    Engaging park users
    Posting in West Seattle Herald
    Would like to contact counselors at Madison Middle and West Seattle HS for kids
           needing community service hours
       > From Deborah Mendenhall at Schmitz Preserve:
    Bring in close neighbors to work on a specific project
    Go door to door with flyers and talk with people
    Posting flyers
    E mail and website postings
    Best is face to face personal invitation
       > From Buphalo at West Duwamish Green Belt/Nature Consortium
    Tabling at events
    Post flyers
    Post on web sites
    Send e mails
    No one approach works best
    > From Sharon Baker at Lincoln Park:
    Put up signs at major entrances to the Park every month about a week before the
       work party. I take them down promptly so people don’t habituate to them
    West Seattle Herald
    West Seattle Blog
    Have flyers available at work parties for Park visitors who show interest
    Volunteers all try to engage Park visitors to encourage participation
    Work party email reminders about a week before events
    > From Jim Corson:
 1. Reader boards or a note board at or near the work site that explains what is
going on, lists work parties and contacts.
  2. Making a big effort to talk to everybody who comes within range or at least a
smile and a hello. They will often want more information and may be willing to
  6. Schools (High schools and colleges) often require community service and
you can let them know your work party days.
   8> List your activities on any public forum that you can find.

Volunteer encouragement/retention:
     > Dylan Mendenhall –                Volunteers appreciate A)
feeling appreciated and B) being taken care of. Thus, seemingly simple things like
providing snacks and drinks at work parties are invaluable gestures for any steward
who wishes their volunteers to return a second and third time.
        Beware of thinking that volunteers are out there resolutely pulling ivy and
blackberries because they purely enjoy it and love nature. They do love nature, and
volunteers may initially get involved in ecological restoration because of their affinity
with the environment. However, even the most eccentric of naturalists return
because of the social element. Never forget the social element.
        Bear in mind that high school students are always being asked to pull weeds
for some organization or another. They can start to feel rather exploited. Give people
an opportunity to plant things. People like that.
        As volunteers, it is perfectly okay to start working late. However, it is not
okay to end late. For the sake of your toiling underlings, respect the end time.
        Every social event ends best with small wrap-up or reflection. This gives
people closure and satisfaction in what they accomplished, and it provides an
opportunity to spring board into future events.
        > Lex Voorhoeve – And the volunteers just come,
every third Saturday of the month, rain or shine. Once you become
known as a provider of outdoors work out opportunity, people will find
you. It is, therefore, important to have a web-site, or be
incorporated in e.g. the Parks web-site. People often think: “where
will I go tomorrow for a work out”, they look on the internet, and find
       > West Seattle Stewards (Sharon Baker –
    Find the hook and feed them – information/education, approach users like dog
           walkers, create social situations
    Getting people involved from the very beginning and allowing them to take
           “ownership” or create a personal attachment to the site
    Retain and maintain a core of neighbors with strategic infusions of groups to work
           with them (inspiring to see what a group can do in a short time)
    Have food at work parties
    Create gimics to help motivate people to participate: prizes, games, coupons from/to
           local businesses, T-shirts (REI can sometimes provide), earn patches or scout
       > Jay Miro at Longfellow-Brandon St Natural Area:
     Work with local community council
     Find a local agency to be fiscal agent for grants
     Do work parties on a consistent day
     Encourage and support EarthCorp involvement
     Encourage school groups
     The value of longevity and persistence
        > From Barbara Banks at Orchard Street Ravine
     Core of neighbors who have been involved for several years
     Talking to people at work parties
        > From Deborah Mendenhall at Schmitz Preserve:
     Retention aided by matching people’s skill/dedication to the work, be inclusive
     Identify key people who can assume leadership roles
     Well run work parties, start on time, end on time, drinks, snacks, review safe work
            practices, log all participants and get contact info
     Have fun
    > From Sharon Baker at Lincoln Park:
     Very welcoming and supportive of groups and students who want to do projects
     A certain attitude, we all care deeply about this Park and are committed to restoring
     Behave responsibly. Start work parties on time, don’t talk too much, have tools
        available, have a plan in mind, facilitate the work, appreciate the commitment and
     Share selected information with volunteers via e mail, Sheila’s plant of the month,
        training opportunities, etc.
     > From Jim Corson:
  3. At work parties, explain to volunteers what you are trying to do and thank
them when they are done.
  4. I like to provide coffee and donuts or other treats to my work parties as a
break so people can talk with you
      and with each other.

     > Dylan        Mendenhall – The 4th and unsung pillar
of sustainability is education. Perhaps the most important consequence of our
restoration work, second only to healing the earth, is fostering a connection between
our culture and the environment. Education is an art; it is the sacred transmission of
knowledge. In every shared experience and effort, as when you are helping a
student plant a cedar tree, your greater legacy may very well be the connection
you foster in a person's heart, rather than the actual trees you put in the soil. Only
that is truly lasting.
      > Dylan Mendenhall      – People get their interest
sparked. People move on. Some burn out. Volunteer retention is always in a state of
flux. So do not ever be disheartened. For every steward, it is a perpetual experiment
and challenge.
        > Jim Corson:
  7. Stay optimistic, when I listed my work parties publically, I often had one other
person working with me. Over time that has grown.
As an extention to my optimistic remark - it took us almost three years to get to
the point where we now have reasonably good turn outs.

Peer support:
      > Dylan    Mendenhall – I really appreciate the
top-down support I receive from Joanna and the other folks at CLC. However, I hope
forest stewards elsewhere in the city also feel like they have horizontal access to
each other for support. Even stewards out in Redmond, if they need advice or
assistance, we're here to help.

Other ideas:
     > Diane (Dee) – Have regular work parties. Always show
up for awhile... often times a neighbor will stop by unannounced. If you're not there, they
may not come back.
       >   Dylan Mendenhall – Some definitions.
Ecological restoration is the application of our understanding in ecology to assist
nature in its healing process, back to its original biodiversity and function.
The Society for Ecological Restoration calls it an “intentional activity that initiates or
accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and
       > Lex Voorhoeve – Then, in 2005 [5 years into the
project], we started our own Forest Steward training: 11 Saturdays from
June to February, so that al the seasons were covered. This course was
repeated in 2007 and this year we run the third edition. If you are
interested I send you the program. This resulted in a number of
trained Forest Stewards who can supervise work parties.
       > West Seattle Stewards (Sharon Baker –
   Green Seattle Partnership resource page: List of volunteer recruitment places, List of
            grants available
   Work together on recruitment of groups and using the resources of groups like KC
            United Way, Seattle Works, Duwamish Alive
   Pool funds or apply funds for outreach as a group
   Get grant support from one non-profit agency like DNDA
       > Jay Miro at Longfellow-Brandon St Natural Area:
   Find a local agency to be fiscal agent for grants
   Climate Action Now Grant
       > Mike Arizona at Longfellow Delridge:
   EarthCorp grant

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