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Working with Volunteers and Strategies for Outreach. Stephanie Clemens Mid-Atlantic Water Program Pennsylvania Master Well Owner Network Virginia Master Well Owner Network Training October 29-30, 2008 Harrisonburg Virginia. Who are the Volunteers?.

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working with volunteers and strategies for outreach

Working with Volunteers and Strategies for Outreach

Stephanie Clemens

Mid-Atlantic Water Program

Pennsylvania Master Well Owner Network

Virginia Master Well Owner Network Training

October 29-30, 2008

Harrisonburg Virginia

slide2

Who are the Volunteers?

  • Residents with individual water quality problems
  • Members of Watershed Groups
  • Professionals in the field (working for state agencies, Cooperative Extension, etc.)
  • Sewage Enforcement Officers
  • Farmers
  • Educators
  • Miscellaneous Fields (Real Estate Agents, Veterinarians)
slide3

What are Volunteers Asked to Do?

  • Spread the knowledge to 100 people within two years of time
      • Using MWON resources
      • Using a variety of different methods of outreach
  • Get contact information for 20% of those people
      • To help evaluate the program’s impacts
  • Follow their own advice
  • Submit reports on a regular basis
slide4

Workshop Evaluation Results

After attending this training, how comfortable are you in delivery education to the public?

Very comfortable Somewhat Comfortable Not at all comfortable Unsure

  • 83% felt very or somewhat comfortable with providing private water system outreach
  • 16% did not answer the question
  • 1% stated they were not at all comfortable with providing this information to the public
slide6

Newsletters and Publications

Newsletters and other publications are used to keep volunteers engaged, updated, and motivated!

slide7

Volunteers work at events such as fairs and farm shows

Volunteers give presentations at club meetings and events in their local area

Other volunteers get creative…

slide8

Volunteer Accomplishments

(Examples from PA MWON)

  • Volunteers have educated over 18,000 private water system owners by individual consultation.
  • Volunteers have educated over 31,500 PA residents through various media sources.
  • Several volunteers have exceeded the goal of educating 100 people within two years.
  • Follow-up surveys demonstrate volunteer impact
slide9

Volunteer Impacts

  • Evaluations sent to individuals with email and without (using physical address)
  • Approx. 35% were returned by mail and 50% by email
  • 55% “very helpful” 42% “somewhat helpful” no evaluations stated “not helpful” 3% left blank
  • 76% circled one or more response on question #9
what can mwon do for you
What Can MWON Do For You?
  • Provide assistance and resources to private water system owners in rural areas
      • Increasing Cooperative Extension’s capacity to educate private water system owners
      • Assisting people that may not look for help by a professional
      • Ultimately protecting human health and preventing aquifer contamination
  • Assist with wellhead protection efforts in your local area or help with programs run by Cooperative Extension
  • Help to spread the word about resources and expertise available through Cooperative Extension
slide11

Lessons Learned

  • Need to be flexible with volunteer programs
      • some volunteers may not like giving presentations and they may not feel comfortable acting like an “expert”
  • Need to have constant interaction with volunteers
      • Keeping them updated on the program helps to remind them of their outreach goals
      • Volunteers will only become better educators if we provide them with continuous education
slide12

Stephanie Clemens

814-865-2250

mwon@psu.edu

http://mwon.cas.psu.edu