Here’s some team reports, as well as some new developments on the Activist Network’s future.
Here’s the Marine Team’s Kathy Lacey reporting on this summer’s terrapin nesting project, from Long Island Beach, New Jersey:
This summer has been unlike anything I could have hoped for. We have over 1,000 terrapin eggs, safely incubating in our 2 hatcheries. We had to build another to accommodate the overflow. That makes a grand total of 85 nests! Since relocating nests is such a delicate job, only 4 people were trained to do it, myself, Grace, my 7-year-old intern, Tracey, her mother, and Janet, an Emergency Trauma Nurse.
There are many nests in homeowners' yards, everyone has embraced these magnificent creatures! It's a regular "Terrapin Paradise" down here! Who'd have guessed?
It's not an unusual sight to see someone on the Bay Road stopping traffic to allow the safe passage of the females! Cartoons appear in the local newspaper! This is Turtle Town. In just 1 year, the locals and the vacationers have gone from barely acknowledging the terrapin to protecting it at any cost!
See all Kathy’s blog posts here.
There are more than turtle eggs incubating in the Activist Network. Take a look at this report prepared for the board distilling the activities of ten of the most active teams, plus three emerging teams.
Among the highlights: Borderlands Team co-chair Scott Nicol's op ed about the "National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act" recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. Aimed at stopping the nonexistent flood of immigrants, the bill would waive 16 laws on all federal lands within 100 miles of both the northern border and the southern border. Here it is in the Kansas City Star.
One of the most active teams in the Activist Network is the No Nukes Team, which hosted a successful summit in May and has more recently submitted several grant proposal in support of regional work, a video project, and a “gap study” to identify ways the electricity generated by specific nuclear plants can be replaced by clean energy and increased efficiency.
The events tool wasn’t working for them, so they have embedded a google calendar in their team home page
. Take a look
. You can do that too. Contact me
if you need help.
Online Community: Growing and Slowing
The user experience, especially for team leaders who are editing pages or posting blogs, continues to be frustrating, but there are also new people joining, and new teams and projects being created. The community has is approaching 4,000 members — there are 3,921 at the moment — but overall activity is down, according to Google Analytics. A year ago, between June 17 and July 17, 2011, there were 31,918 page views, and 10,636 visits. The same time this year, 21,471 page views and 8,306 visits.
In the past year, there have been 353,059 page views and 124,067 visits. Unique visitors totalled 77,809.
The plan to migrate to an improved set of online tools in 2012 has not been realized, but it is included in the proposed Digital Strategies budget for 2013.
Future of the Activist Network
While it may seem that the Activist Network has been treading water — the promised online community improvements have still not been realized — changes are afoot.
This summer, the Mission Strategy Committee of the board of directors will be taking a look at the Activist Network to explore what has worked and what hasn’t, and how. They will be reviewing the relative priority of top-level goals (conservation outcomes, increasing activism, leadership development), what resources the Activist Network needs to achieve those goals, as well as the relationship between the Activist Network and chapters.
We will be seeking comments from Activist Network community members, especially team leaders, over the next few months. Please contact me
if you have questions, ideas, or feedback.
Meanwhile, the staff part of the Activist Network (only me now), has been moved from the Digital Strategies Department to Conservation, as part of Grassroots Effectiveness/ Field Organizing, which is likely to be a better fit. (Sophie Matson, formerly the Activist Network Trainer and Organizer, is staying in Digital Strategies as a product manager, working on the New Member Welcome Center
We can’t predict the future, but between those two developments and the improved set of online tools on tap, it’s not likely things will be the same at this time next year.