Before You Launch: Quick Start Guide Part 2
Guide to Building a New York Phenology Project Monitoring Site
Crucial Preparation Tasks:
Be clear about your target audience (Community? School groups? Both?)
Consider how many people you want as “core observers” and decide how to recruit them
Know if you have a particular scientific question beyond the New York Phenology Project focus on plant–pollinator interactions (and whether you are monitoring both plants and pollinators/animals)
Decide whether other activities and content areas will link with this project (i.e. Will you plant a pollinator garden? Will you build bee hotels? Will you engage other organizations to help you get related projects going? What ecological concepts or educational standards will you address?)
Before you set a launch date make sure you have adequate time to:
choose species (See Quick Start Guide, Part 3)
choose specific specimens or locations for plants you will monitor
mark plant specimens or locations – since it is difficult to ID plants in winter, do this in another season if possible
plan one or more trainings for your participants (See Quick Start Guide, Part 4)
Make plans to:
train participants multiple times each season
stay in frequent email contact with participants
organize gatherings intermittently
Establish a well-defined budget for materials (i.e., large sign < $200, Smaller herbarium signs ~ $10-$20 per sign, Small tags and flagging: $10-$20 for 60+.) or find sources for donations. Be prepared to replace damaged items and consider whether items will need to be replenished every year.
You’ve got a basic outline of what you want to do…
Now build your action plan for the first year:
Can your staff prepare to launch your project or will you need to engage a consultant to help get you started?
Do you want to launch as a pilot with your staff gathering data or do you want to engage the community right away?
What do you need to do to get your staff//board ready to take on this project?
Date of launch:
Date of first training:
Date of follow up training:
(Remember to allow time for all the tasks and decisions that have to happen before launch.)
What needs to be done to get the site ready?
How many species?_____ How many individual plants tagged?:
What staff members will monitor? ______ How many participants do you want to engage?_____
Long-term strategic goals:
First year accomplishment objectives:
How will you assess your project’s success?
Other Quick Start Guides ...
Questions to Ask: Quick Start Guide Part 1
Choosing Species to Monitor: Quick Start Guide Part 3
Training and Leadership: Quick Start Guide Part 4