Saugeen Nature

Planning Report – January, 2017

The Board has had two priority goals since the last AGM. The first is to increase membership by 10 in the coming year, primarily by asking members to invite non-members to meetings and also by increasing publicity. The second goal is to recruit two new board members to fill existing vacancies.

In order to ensure that Saugeen Nature continues to be relevant today as it was 40 years ago, the board has undertaken a thorough review of the current actions and activities of the club, and how we are affected by the environment in which we operate. Trends in the environment have been examined from five perspectives, including Social, Technical, Economic, Environment and Politics. The implications of the trends suggested new initiatives for Saugeen Nature.

Three themes arose out of this review; outreach, education and environment. That these themes are familiar should be no surprise as the club has been progressive and very active over the years. This work will remain the core focus of much of the club’s energy, as there were no indications that any of the current activities should be dropped. Possible new initiatives were also identified. A fourth, but minor theme, new technology, will work itself into all the other themes over time.

Discussion of ‘how to’ has already begun and ideas are noted below. Prioritization of these possible directions, as well as more detailed action plans, will further serve to focus energy and resources to attract new members. Many activities and initiatives could fit into two or more categories but are not repeated in this summary.

The Board will welcome feedback and input from members of Saugeen Nature on this overview.

1. Outreach

    a. Ongoing
            i. Speakers from our club share talents with other groups

            ii. Junior Naturalist club attracts pre-teens

            iii. Keep the cost of membership affordable

            iv. News articles and other publicity

            v. Invite non-members to meetings and outings

    b. New Initiatives

            i. Create a welcoming feeling for families, especially children and youth

                    1. Nursery for young children

                    2. Programs, activities directly suited to families and children

            ii. Focus on youth to link from Jr. Nats to adult membership

                    1. Create a youth group similar to Jr. Nats only directed to teens

                    2. Sponsor a bursary at local high schools for students enrolled in environment    


            iii. Greater outreach to other community groups

                    1. Seniors clubs, Probus, University Women, churches, etc.

                    2. Form alliances with Beekeepers, agriculture, aboriginal peoples

            iv. Use of social media

                    1. Set up Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram accounts to share what’s new                              

                                and happening

            v. Keep membership affordable

                    1. Subsidize low income families to become members

                    2. Donate free membership as prizes to other events

2. Education

     a. Ongoing
           i. Knowledgeable and interesting speakers at meetings

           ii. A wide variety of outings to appeal to all interests
           iii. Sponsor children and youth to attend nature camps
           iv. Participation in the Christmas Bird Count and support to Bird Studies Canada

                 and other groups

     b. New initiatives

  1. i.          i. Promotion of ‘citizen science’ such as bee or bird tracking systems
              ii. Revive the car tour promotion, featuring only one site at a time
              iii. Develop talks to take ‘on the road’ to other organizations
              iv. Links to ‘apps’ on our website to connect members with field guides etc. – topics of
  2. ii.                interest will include birds, wildflowers, reptiles, spiders and more.

             v. Greater use of local media

                   1.Offer mini-articles of a ‘did you know….’ style to catch attention

  1. 2.               2. Invite media representatives to events such as AGM, Nature Reserve events,
  2. 3.                          outings, Jr. Nats.

3. Environment

     a. Ongoing
          i. Stewardship of two nature reserves in our area

          ii. Promoting use of carpooling
          iii. Annual Conservation Award to recognize outstanding contribution to environment
          iv. Support for petitions, briefs and lobbying started by Ontario Nature and others

               Monarch waystation

     b. New Initiatives

          i. Set up ad hoc committees to comment on local planning, etc.
          ii. Set up action groups to address invasive species – phragmites, vinca, garlic

               mustard, Japanese knotweed
          iii. Lobby government and chemical companies on herbicide/pesticide use

          iv. Form partnerships with groups such as beekeepers, agriculture, etc.

  1. v.       v. Survey members as to their perspective on being a more activist organization

Submitted by Gertie Blake

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I the undersigned, wish to have my child
participate in the following activity
sponsored by the Saugeen Naturalists. As part of registering my child, I hereby agree as follows:
1. That I acknowledge that there are inherent risks associated with this activity and that my child could sustain personal injury through participation in this activity and I am hereby accepting to take that risk on behalf of myself or my child.

2. To save harmless and keep indemnified the Saugeen Naturalists and the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and their respective agents, official servants and representatives against all claims and actions, costs and expenses and demands, in respect of injury, loss or damage or death to myself or my child’s person.

3. That I acknowledge that in this situation volunteers are involved in supervising this activity and that I shall accept the responsibility of observing my child’s participation in this activity and should I have any objection to the manner in which my child or myself are being supervised or instructed, I accept the responsibility to remove myself or my child from this activity.

This agreement shall be binding upon myself, my heirs, executors and assigns.