Digital News Projects

The Environmental Leadership Program offers a range of projects from which to choose, so that you might follow your own passions.

This post describes Digital News Projects, which means projects in which you will set up a Facebook page or a simple website or both. 

So, why is the Environmental Leadership Program offering a range of Digital News Projects?

Because we believe that our community is nowhere near its potential in the use of digital communication tools to spread the word about exciting and engaging events related to sustainability.

So … what’s the problem to be solved?

In Louisville’s environmental community, we need effective communication.  And we don’t always have it.

We need to make sure that when someone wants to volunteer for tree planting (for example) they can easily find out where to start, and how to stay involved.

The fact is that SO many people in this community want to get involved … but don’t know how.

This is true not only for tree planting, but for …

  • Invasive species removal
  • Organic gardening
  • Monarch waystations
  • Rain gardens
  • Native plant gardening

… and the list goes on …

Digital News Projects are designed to give sustainability the attention it deserves online.

So … let’s look at the choices.

Tree Planting News

What’s going on in tree planting in Louisville? If I want to volunteer, where and when do I show up?

If you can spend two hours per week answering these questions, and posting your answers to a Facebook page, you will create a vital and much-needed resource for our community.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • Set up a Facebook page called Tree Planting News.
  • This page will be dedicated to announcing events that need volunteers for tree planting.
  • The target audience is people who want to volunteer, but they don’t always know about events as they arise.
  • Build bridges with these people and organizations so that their events are regularly publicized: Josh White (Highlands Tree Planting Initiative), Natalie Reteneller (Louisville Grows), Cindi Sullivan (Trees Louisville), Stephen Perry (Salt River Watershed Project), Chris Chandler (Nature Conservancy).
  • See your facilitator for more leads and guidance.

Extend your experience…

If you accomplish the above and want to accomplish more, then …

  • Set up a simple website that explains WHY we need more trees, how to plant the “right tree in the right place”, common mistakes in tree planting and tree care, features and benefits of different tree species, etc. 
  • Ask your facilitator to further define a set of topics that you can cover with regularity on your website.  
  • Include photos in your posts. Then link to your posts from your Facebook page.
  • Work with your facilitator to place free ads in the Courier-Journal (ads for tree planting events).
  • Work with your facilitator to get free Google ads for these projects.
  • Formulate a plan for using paid Facebook ads to promote your page and your posts. Share your plan with potential donors.

 

Invasive species removal in Jefferson County.

Removing invasive species is 1) important, 2) enjoyable, and 3) good exercise.

Several local parks have regular invasive removal activities, but they are not very broadly publicized. If we could publicize these events to a broader audience, then we could further the cause of invasive species removal in our community.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • Set up a Facebook Page with an obvious name, like Invasive Species Removal Activities.
  • Look for events to post, starting with Olmsted Parks, Jefferson Memorial Forest, Earth & Spirit Center.
  • For leads, ask your facilitator about people to contact, websites to visit, and email lists to join.

If you accomplish the above and want to extend your experience, then

  • Set up a simple website that explains WHY we need to remove invasive species, … and how to do so. Include links to helpful resources. Include photos in your posts. Link to your posts from your Facebook page. This makes your Facebook work easier and more productive, when you can provide a link (to your website) for further information.
  • Formulate a plan for using paid Facebook ads to promote your page and your posts. Share your plan with potential donors.

Organic gardening Facebook page

If your passion is organic gardening, consider setting up a Facebook page and website to announce events and opportunities in our community.  

  • Ask your facilitator for details about how and why to contact certain key people and organizations, such as Food Literacy Project, New Roots (Karyn Moskowitz), Justin Mog, Amanda Fuller, and anyone who might know more about local food cooperatives.
  • Follow University of Louisville Sustainability Council on Facebook, especially news about the “Garden Commons.”
  • Ask Earth & Spirit Center Executive Director Kyle Kramer for insights and leads.
  • When learning about the different organizations, try to get a feel for what is unique or distinctive about each organization, especially in the people they serve or how they offer their services.
  • Ask your facilitator for additional leads.

To extend your experience

  • Set up a simple website that addresses issues such as why organic food is important and who in our community is doing something about it.
  • Look for restaurants that serve locally grown food.
  • Ask for leads at Rainbow Blossom and other sources of organic and/or local food.

Waterways Advocacy

Our waterways are under attack. You can help by raising public awareness about a specific waterway such as Beargrass Creek or Floyds Fork.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • Pick a waterway and set up a Facebook page and simple website related to that waterway.
  • Google the name of the waterway and see if interesting leads pop up.
  • Ask your facilitator for leads related to Floyds Fork, such as the Parklands, Jeff Frank.
  • Ask your facilitator for Hart’s letter to the Planning Commission opposing the “Pope Lick Station” development.
  • Ask your facilitator for leads related to Beargrass Creek, such as David Wicks.
  • Build bridges with organizations that are involved, such as the Sierra Club (Drew Foley) and Kentucky Waterways Alliance (executive director position is currently vacant, but will be filled soon.)

 

Native plants consumer news

Increasing numbers of people want to learn about … and buy … native plants because they are good for our local ecosystems. But most people do not know where to start or whom to trust.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • Set up a Facebook page and a simple website dedicated to helping consumers find reliable local sources for native plants.
  • Help people understand what to buy and where.
  • Continually reinforce WHY it is important to buy native plants, and specific functions or services that each plant provides. Ask your facilitator for details.
  • Address your reader’s concerns, such as: “If I’m new to the native plants, who do I turn to for advice? For landscaping services? For plants?
  • Be sure to learn about the offerings of the following businesses: Dropseed Nursery, Roundstone Native Seed, Ironweed Nursery, Hidden Hill Nursery. Ask your facilitator for additional leads to knowledgeable people and helpful organizations.

In this project, you’ll develop a valuable skills if you aspire to work in the native plant or landscaping industry.

Note to job seekers: Not everyone who wants to work as a wildlife conservation officer actually lands a job with the government or a nonprofit. What is your Plan B? Consider promoting wildlife conservation in a for-profit business, e.g., native plant landscaping and consulting. Don’t underestimate how rewarding — and impactful — this work can be.

 

Louisville Outdoors

What’s the need? Research and common sense tells us that getting outdoors is healthy. Many Louisvillians know this, but miss opportunities for outdoor recreation because events come and go without their notice.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • Set up a Facebook page and a simple website.
  • Make a list of local parks and outdoor activities.
  • Search the web about 2 hours a week, finding out what activities are going on.
  • Post these activities to your Facebook page.
  • If you spend two hours per week, you can create our community’s definitive resource in this area.
  • Note: You can’t be all things to all people. So you’ll want to narrow your focus. You might try to limit your “scope of topics” to those activities that have some positive impact on sustainability.
  • Parks to review for noteworthy activities: Olmsted Parks, the Parklands of Floyds Fork, Bernheim Forest, Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, Louisville Metro Parks. See your facilitator for more leads.
  • Also look for outdoor activities, including hiking, paddling, etc.
  • Look on Meetup.com for activities.
  • Ask Ryan King at Quest Outdoors.
  • Look for educational activities, including those offered by Louisville Free Public Library.

Sustainability Community News

Set up a Facebook page and a website to keep people informed about what’s going on in our community that is directly related to “sustainability”. This is a broad topic, and possibly ill-defined. But any attempt to tackle this issue will be a great service to the community.

Here’s what you’ll do…

  • See all of the above activities for leads.
  • Here’s where you’ll start for news … Louisville Sustainability Council website: louisvillesustainabilitycouncil.org.
  • Subscribe to the monthly newsletter of Waterfront Botanical Gardens, which generously announces activities such as those described.
  • Work with your facilitator to make a list of sites to visit, people to call and leads to pursue on a regular basis.

As with other Digital News activities, even two hours per week on this activity will be a tremendous contribution to our community.

For questions, please email nhhagan@gmail.com.

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