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Questions to Ask: Quick Start Guide Part 1

Guide to Building a New York Phenology Project Monitoring Site


Do you have:


  • An organization committed to: ecology, community participation, restoration and education?


  • A site with established trails, gardens or native plantings easily accessible by target populations?


  • Staff with interpretive skills dedicated to monitoring, recruiting volunteers and developing resources?


  • A volunteer network or a “friends of” network? (This helps to get started quickly, but can be built over time.)


  • A monitoring location that can withstand foot traffic and people “handling” the plants?


  • Institutional commitment?

    • Is your board on board?

    • Is there a staff person or committed volunteer (or both) to act as site administrator on a continuing basis?

    • Is funding available for signage, supplies, and training?

    • Are benefits to the institution clear? (benefits such as increasing visitors, engaging community, meeting educational standards, developing STEM education, attracting new members)


If you plan to engage community-scientists, do you have:

  • Project management capabilities?

    • A volunteer coordinator or someone to serve as site administrator (SA)?

      • Does SA have capacity to manage community events?

      • Can SA collect data at least once a week?

      • Can SA manage social media (not necessary but it helps)?

  • Ability to create maps for the site, instructional materials, brochures, etc.?


 If you plan to work with schools, do you have:

  • A target age group?

  • An education team that can outline learning outcomes, build curriculum, teach?

  • Relationships with a school or schools in your area?

  • An outreach team that can talk to students, teachers, principals, superintendents?


Other Quick Start Guides . . . 

Before You Launch: Quick Start Guide Part 2

Choosing Species to Monitor: Quick Start Guide Part 3

Training and Leadership: Quick Start Guide Part 4


Complete Quick Start Guide (to view or download)

Photo: Jay Diggs

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