Feedback (sooner than later) is Critical! People want to know their collected data are actually being used. Acknowledged Valued – them & data Treasured
Motivating Factors To Do Conservation Longing for a special place from childhood Plight of wild creatures Secure places as a tonic to the stresses of everyday life Awareness of the undeniable link between healthy natural systems and human well-being
For the first two-thirds of the 20 th Century, a powerful tide bore Americans into ever deeper engagement in the life of their communities, but a few decades ago – silently, without warning – that tide reversed and we were overtaken by a treacherous rip current. We have been pulled apart from one another and from our communities.
During the last third of the 20 th Century, formal membership in organizations in general has edged downward by 10-20%. More important, active involvement in clubs and other voluntary associations has collapsed at an astonishing rate, more than halving most indexes of participation within barely a few decades.
It is not merely “do good” civic activities that engage us less, but also informal connecting with friends and neighbors. Across a very wide range of activities, the last several decades have witnessed a striking diminution of regular contacts with our friends and neighbors.
People born between 1910 and 1940 constitute a “long civic generation” than either their predecessors or their successors in the sequence of generations. In the swollen cohort of boomers born between 1950 and 1965, volunteerism is ebbing. Evidence suggests that young Americans in the 1990s displayed a commitment to volunteerism without parallel among their immediate predecessors.
Factors that have Contributed to the Decline in Civic Engagement and Social Capital Pressures of time and money Suburbanization, commuting, sprawl Electronic entertainment Generational change
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First Christmas Bird Count in 1900! Why Sam Robbins Participated: -Liked to be out-of-doors -Enjoyed watching birds -Exciting -Built friendships -Contributed scientific knowledge Frank Chapman
Other Positive Motivation Factors for CBCs Tradition and lore Sport and recreation Social event Builds passion for conservation Desire to contribute to science See name in print Seeing unexpected – finding rarities Challenge of new high count Rivalry between/among counts, parties, individuals Popularizes bird study – introduce newcomers Experiencing weather’s vigorous vagaries
Curiosity Love of birds Get out of house Didn’t know better “Do gooder” instinct Competition Insomnia Friendship Listitis Compare data Lovely surroundings Reasons for CBC Participation (RBC 11/97 meeting)
Why We Volunteer – Karen’s List Opportunity to get outside Make contribution Learn/see something new Has become a tradition Be with friends Contribute to knowledge base Don’t “trust” others to do “your” survey
How to Engage Volunteers Clear expectations Why info is needed – can’t be wasted effort Provide/explain all necessary “tools” Straight-forward protocols Choose project that will engender interest Compatibility
Barriers People/Time to Coordinate Volunteers Lack of Personalization & Ease People to Enter/Analyze/Report Data $$$$$$$ Training/Mentoring/Encouragement Matching Volunteers with Task
COMMUNICATION is the basis, the foundation, the radical ground and root upon which all community stands, grows, and thrives.