Houston-‐Gulf Coast Children in Nature Collaborative April 2, 2012 Meeting Notes In attendance: Lisa Webber, Rice University; Mary Anne Weber, Houston Audubon, Flisa Stevenson, Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Margaret Lamar, Houston Wilderness; Gracey Malacara, Houston Wilderness; Glenda Beazley, TPWD Central Office Marketing for TCIN, Walt Bailey, TPWD, Ted Stevens, TPWD with Sharon from TPWD Brazos Bend; Laura Babcock, TPWD; Rani Henderson, Galveston Bay Foundation; Diana Foss, TPWD; Jaime Gonzales, Katy Prairie Conservancy, Amanda Adair; TPWD We made big strides in this meeting toward action and organizing toward a larger movement. The following notes are the highlights from a highly dynamic meeting that focused on three areas: 1. Thinking big 2. Identifying the audience and marketing models for a campaign 3. How we’re going to organize ourselves Heading toward a comprehensive proposal We have been encouraged by some local funders to think big and “ask for what we want, not what we think they will fund.” This is an exciting opportunity and invitation for us to really work to create big solutions to what we know is a big problem. In the meeting on February 6, 2012 we discussed whether we would dive into one project together or whether we would form multiple subgroups. This invitation to create a proposal—or collection of proposals-‐-‐moves us clearly into the direction of MULTIPLE GROUPS to fully articulate the multiple prongs in a full-‐blown Children in Nature Movement for our area. We will work in groups to collaboratively create a Master Plan document that will go through a feedback period and then move into concrete proposals for funders. The Campaign There is a community-‐wide committee working on the “Get Outdoors” website project. This website will be one-‐stop shopping for anyone who wants to go outdoors and wants to know
why, where, or how. It will cover a 13-‐county region, and the marketing campaign is being explored with 3 ad agencies at this time. Branding for the campaign or the site has not been decided and “Get Outdoors” is just the working name. There was much discussion in this meeting about marketing. The outcomes of the discussion were: Our collaborative will be directly connected to this website project, and it will be a key tool in our arsenal. Margaret will serve as the liaison to the Get Outdoors committee. • The website and the campaign will co-‐brand and connect with the statewide campaigns through Texas Children in Nature [Glenda will connect with Houston Wilderness about all media connections between Houston/Gulf Coast and TCIN/TPWD] •
Some thoughts on marketing for us to consider as we move forward: We are seeking fresh approaches. We should look into successful LIFESTYLE marketing models, such as Whole Foods, Central Market re: organic food, foodie culture, etc. • We might consider who will remain in this area for the coming years—teachers, what children, etc.? • We have several questions yet to nail down in terms of our target audience(s) • In order to measure our effectiveness, we need to find ways to measure the baseline and the impact. • Texas Children in Nature has tools for us to use—“Healthier, Happier, Smarter” badge, Nature Rocks, “Outdoor Activity of the Month” with local media coverage, and new TCIN website to come • Glenda Beazley at TPWD Marketing suggested that there are two groups of children to target: 1) middle/upper class children who suffer from electronic device addition or overscheduled organized activities and 2) low-‐income children who have economic, safety, and access barriers • We could create a television show idea that incorporates the values we’re striving for and local natural resources. This could connect nicely with the Outdoor Activity of the Month media coverage. • We want to convey the message to the adult public: “You’re not just here to work, you’re here to live”. • Look into Pittsburg and Chicago as possible models for urban areas who have been through massive rebranding. [Margaret will sit on the Get Outdoors committee as a liaison to our efforts.] • •
Evaluation: As part of the master plan document, in order to show effectiveness, it will be important for us to design a component of evaluation that determines what the BASELINE is and what the IMPACT is.
[Houston Wilderness will organize this call out to partners to begin baseline data collection] Audience: We have talked at length in these 3 meetings about audiences, and it has become very clear that for each component of this master plan, including the web site that is under construction right now—there is an acute need for us to DETERMINE THE TARGET AUDIENCE. Organization Moving Forward Of all of the possible sub-‐committees that we need, we will START with two main groups: • Education • Family/Community/Faith/Health We are expecting there to be further division and groups added, but for this next set of meetings we plan to lump these groups as such around these topics. [Margaret will call together the Education team and Jaime and Flisa will pull together the Family/Community/Faith/Health team] The Green 13 We decided that instead of calling ourselves the HGCCINC we’d just for kicks call ourselves the Green 13—which represents the 13 counties that we are currently slated to be served by the new website. (costumes, superpowers, and individual names are slated for discussion at the next meeting) Jaime created a new social networking site for us that is going to be very useful as we fold more people into our group.