Bringing The Vision To Your Community
Conserving the Future concepts are getting real.
As spring and fall dates for some finalized plans draw near, many implementation teams are drafting strategies that are available for public discourse.
Reading the draft plans makes one fact stand out, says Conserving the Future implementation coordinator Anna Harris: The National Wildlife Refuge System will operate differently in the coming decade than it has in the past. “We have long talked about reaching people who live in cities, younger people and those from varied ethnic backgrounds. These plans will transform talk into action.”
The Communications implementation team has put forth a five-year strategic plan that seeks first to reach key audiences where they live; then increase online and in-person visits to wildlife refuges; and ultimately build the next generation of Refuge System supporters. The plan details a host of tactics – from marketing partnerships with non-traditional partners to greater use of online communications to traveling Refuge Live! activity centers.
Recognizing that there are eight times more annual volunteers than Refuge System employees, the Community Partnership implementation team is putting on the fast track creation of a “one-stop shopping” Web portal for staff and volunteers. That team also is working with the Interpretation and Environmental Education (I&EE) team to establish an ambassador program that will train employees to provide excellent customer service and strengthen community relations.
The I&EE team recognizes that “education programs are quickly evolving to ‘anytime, anywhere’ platforms.” The team’s draft strategy calls for development of a “rapid self-assessment tool” by June 2013 so wildlife refuges can evaluate their EE programs.
The strategy also proposes establishment of EE “centers of excellence” and an online clearinghouse that highlights professional development opportunities. Other elements of the draft strategies:
teach awareness and understanding of natural resources by piloting unstructured discovery areas on some refuges.
Development of Web-based resources and video programming to guide how to deliver education programs.
Improving citizen science programming and stewardship by working with existing partners and programs.
The Urban Wildlife Refuge Initiative is evaluating more than two dozen proposals to create an urban presence in 10 geographically diverse areas across the country.
To keep up-to-date on Conserving the Future developments, go online at: http://americaswildlife.org/
For more stories like this, visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/friends/newswire/