Summary of Comments on Latornell 2012 Worksheet

Summary of Comments on Latornell 2012 Worksheet

Suzanne Barrett/December 28 2012


Summary of Comments on Latornell 2012 Worksheet


Judi Brouse, Muskoka Watershed Council (JB)

Lisa Brusse, Credit Valley Conservation (LB)

Emma Followes, MNR, Aurora District (Lake Simcoe) (EF)

Andrea Hicks, Community Stream Steward Program, OFAH (AH)

Rob Keen, Trees Ontario (RK)

Pam Lancaster, Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (PL)

Pat Learmonth, Farms at Work and Kawartha Farm Stewardship Network (PatL)

Lynette Mader, Ducks Unlimited Canada (LM)

Greg Pulham, Planning Policy, MNR(GP)

Bernie Solymar, Carolinian Canada (BS)

Shelby White, School of Environmental Design Rural Development, University of Guelph (SW)


Name and/or code number of program/project

  • The terms project and program need to be well defined as many people use them interchangeably (JB, EF)
  • When we did a survey of the Lake Simcoe Stewardship Network members we found that people defined ‘project’ differently. If it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone, they can’t go on to report on the outcome of the project (EF)
  • Questions 4, 5 and 6 will duplicate 1, 2 and 3 if there’s no distinction between program and project (PL)
  • This should be set by the lead agency and known to all partners. Right now double counting will occur if this communication does not occur as everyone has their own codes. It should also not contain personal information (PL)
  • Good idea to have a coding system (LB)
  • Some sort of distinction can be made between program and project. A program may have projects layered underneath but it may also have its own measures that you want to capture that are similar but perhaps not the same as a project. For example, a municipal tree giveaway ‘program’ will have measures such as number of participants, number of trees given away (and assumed planted) similar to a ‘project’ (LB)
  • Note that there could possibly be 10 – 20 - 50 projects coming from a conservation authority. Am assuming that the following information would need to be provided for each project. In this case, perhaps providing a sophisticated spreadsheet with drop down options would be helpful. OR will you want this to be provided in aggregate format: 10 projects, total number of partners, total in-kind, total cash etc. (LB)

Time span of program

  • This should be given in an option format – active, completed, multi year etc. (PL)

Location of program/project

  • Get as much data as possible, down to assessment roll # if possible (GP)
  • Ask about provincial plan designation, if applicable (e.g. Greenbelt, ORM etc.) (GP)
  • How was the project site selected? If targeted, on what basis? (GP)
  • When a program is run at a larger scale there needs to be clarity that you want either 1) just that large geographic unit identified – watershed, or 2) all the smaller geographic units identified – all the municipalities within the watershed (JB)
  • All necessary geo-location attributes are required (PL)
  • Suggest choosing the finest level at which you want ability to report and collect data for this level by selecting from a list of check boxes (LB)
  • Get shape files to reduce double-counting of projects (RK)

Project partners

  • Should include technical and financial – and perhaps identified by those contributions (PL)
  • Do you want the partners indicated by name or simply identified by category? If by category – provide the list and ask respondent to check off the boxes (LB)

Lead partner

  • Agree this is important to reduce double-counting (PL, LB)

Funding sources/partners

  • Combine with project partners – financial (PL)
  • Assume that this will be a similar list to project partners. Perhaps provide a table with several columns to report: name of partner, type of partner, in kind support and value, financial support and amount, political support, general support – and they can check off all that apply to that particular partner (LB)

Total cost of project in cash

  • This should be overall monetary value but not including taxes (PL)
  • This could be totalled using the column in the table mentioned under funding sources (LB)

Number of people employed/person hours of employment

  • Does this mean paid staff time? (PL)
  • Is the expectation that agencies answer this as well as community groups, ENGOs, etc.? How many people MNR or a CA employ likely isn’t important in comparison to how many people a community group employs (EF)
  • Good idea. Will force us to better track and evaluate our projects! (LB)

Number of volunteers/value of volunteer hours

  • Provide an automatic calculation function (PL)
  • I think that there should be some kind of distinction between a volunteer/community project and a private land project. Or at least direction on how to enumerate volunteerism on a private land project (LB)

How many hectares of forest, wetland, meadow, prairie and/or savannah were restored maintained, enhanced or left alone?

  • Hectares is a very large unit to use for most stewardship activities. Most of my projects are measured in square meters, or acres for agricultural projects. For most urban projects, where say a landowner plants a riparian buffer of 3 meters along their 20m of shoreline, this only provides an area of 0.006 hectares. Maybe use a smaller unit for the template, and then for your summary stats convert this to hectares (AH)
  • What is meant by left alone? The remaining parcel that is protected by a legal agreement? (PL)
  • Some standards for measurement might be good – for example, if a buffer is added to a wetland – do you calculate the area of the buffer or the total area of the enhanced wetland? These may exist – I am just not familiar with it. What constitutes ‘left alone’? This has implications for private land stewardship measures (LB)

How many trees, shrubs and other plants were planted?

  • List the species (PL)
  • How many trees and/or acorns were planted (BS)
  • How many shrubs and/or cuttings were planted (BS)
  • Re herbaceous plants: individual plugs, kg’s seed? This question may generate too much variety in the response and not net usable data (LM)
  • CVC is going to be launching an aquatic plant program – would this be another category? Not sure if others are doing this – possibly TRCA? (LB)

How many metres or km of shoreline, creek or river were improved?

  • Am assuming that we are still talking about the project that was named in number 4 and that this is not an aggregate for all projects? Am assuming that a riparian planting would be included here rather than in number 17? (LB)

How many hectares of land or water are under management for invasive species?

  • Are we still talking about the project identified in number 4? Or is this a new question to be answered in aggregate? What if it’s a single invasive species removal project conducted that year – and could be the project referred to in number 4. How do the project and aggregate measures come together? Definition needed – am not sure what is meant by ‘under management’ (LB)

Which invasive species are being targeted?

  • Provide method used (PL)
  • This invasives part is difficult. I think there is a difference between public management, private land management and projects versus aggregate of activity (LB)

What type of organization are you?

  • Add more categories e.g. CAs, municipality etc. (PL)
  • Suggest a list of check boxes to select from (LB)

How many members or participants do you have?

  • What does this mean? It could be number of staff only, number of staff and board members, number of staff, board members and volunteers. What do you want to gain by asking this? (PL)
  • This maybe needs to be more specific to net usable data. For example: DUC has 120,000+ members but they are magazine subscribers and not associated with stewardship work (LM)
  • Employees too? Provide check boxes with range (LB)

What is your annual budget?

  • Would someone from a government agency need to include this? (EF)
  • Total budget for all activities? Check boxes with ranges (LB)

What is your annual stewardship budget?

  • Define ‘stewardship’ – does this include outreach, restoration and education? Check boxes with ranges (LB)

How many educational or outreach events did you host?

  • Add event type (PL)
  • Would be beneficial to list type of event, i.e. workshop, information meeting, family event, etc. Target audience? (BS)
  • Can we define events? Does this include: site visits, door-to-door visits, mail outs, presentations, booth at festivals? (LB)

How many people participated in your educational or outreach events?

  • Good. We also use the measure of ‘face time’ – which is the number of people times the duration of the event. This helps distinguish between a short 15 minute event and a 5 hour workshop (LB)

How many copies of any written products were distributed?

  • Add type of product/list written products (PL, BS))
  • I don’t think that this is a useful measurement of anything but that’s just a personal opinion (LM)
  • Dissemination of information tends to be a big part of our stewardship outreach activities and so I think that this or a similar measure is a good thing. The word ‘distributed’ is key – rather than produced – we shouldn’t be counting brochures that are sitting in our cupboards. What about electronic newsletter - would this be included? And what about display ads? I think in marketing they use number of impressions rather than number of pieces and there are different factors to calculate impressions based on the kind of communications material – maybe something to investigate? (LB)

What types of social media are you using to promote your work and/or provide information to the public?

  • Add other methods – e.g., press release, paid ads, email blitz, etc. (PL)
  • Suggest table with drop down to select the media and column to indicate number of followers/friends etc. (LB)

I have a case study to contribute:

  • I have numerous projects with before/after information – I could provide details on some of these projects, depending on the format you want the information presented. I have project profiles already created for some projects, but would not be able to provide monitoring/data analysis if that’s what you’re looking for (AH)
  • Yes – I think we can help in some way for case studies but will need to give it more thought (LB)

I know about an existing case study:

  • Regreening Project in Sudbury; City of Great Sudbury; see their website for annual reports etc. (SW)
  • Kawartha Farm Stewardship Network/Farms at Work are considering using the Stewardship Tracking System – will it survive? (PatL)
  • As a collaborative, we use many sources of funding, including EFP, and have to collect data for them so we should try to be consistent (PatL)
  • There are interactions among owners who farm, farm tenants and rural non-farm landowners so it’s not always possible to easily separate farm and non-farm stewardship (PatL)
  • Although there is reporting on both physical activities, like tree planting, and educational activities like brochures and workshops, the primary focus appears to be on the physical result.Is this the focus you want or do you want to highlight both aspects of stewardship more equally? Either one works for me, I just think that clarity is required so that both organizations that are inputting into the system and those retrieving data understand the bias of the database (JB)
  • Good luck putting this together - it will be a useful tool when developing report cards (JB)
  • Based on the deliverables, accounting, and reporting I currently do, this form would fit within my existing templates. This would be ideal as it would allow me to complete the form without too much extra work. There are a few numbers that I don’t have but could estimate (AH)
  • SNO’s ambition to create a provincial wide stewardship tracking system is to be commended, and it is a needed and useful tool (PL)
  • One thing to note is that the database will not contain all types of stewardship projects that could be possibly undertaken. Although I understand that the purpose is to track projects that will contribute to biodiversity, items such as forest management, well management, septic projects, agricultural BMPS such as conservation tillage and GPS projects, etc…. will not be captured (PL)
  • I am confused as to the relationship of this database to an existing one – “Stewardship Tracking System” This database has a similar role and purpose and is currently being used by some organizations. Although I have been trained to use this database, I never have. I find that since it does not capture all of my needs I have no direct beneficial use for it. Although I understand that it has an overall benefit and purpose (PL)
  • With the launch of any new database or a further promotion of the current database (with possible augmentation to capture the data you would like to collect), usability will be low without constant promotion and reminders of its benefits to the individual and the greater cause (PL)
  • Most organizations will require some level of confidentiality on the data they supply. May be a good idea to have a policy in place for this (BS)
  • If the survey can be designed as mainly being a “check-off” format that will greatly encourage organizations to respond (BS)
  • Having an on-line survey would be the best option (BS)
  • I would also suggest flexibility if an organization like Conservation Ontario, OSCIA or other already have compiled their data and are willing to provide a summary or spreadsheet. You may not get all areas of your survey answered but still provides good data (I experienced this when compiling information for my study) (BS)
  • Some water quality projects are missing such as well upgrade, well decommissioning, septic upgrade, installation of rain gardens and other lot level LID activities (LB)
  • Also missing stewardship activities such as forest management, installation of habitat structures such as wood duck boxes, conservation easements, land donations (LB)
  • In the list of measures at the start of the document, it says Hectares of Land under Stewardship – not sure if I understand what this means – perhaps a bit misleading – it sounds like the land is under protection in perpetuity – I’m guessing that what you’re getting at is hectares of land restored??? (LB)
  • Number of private land projects might be a good measure – or number of property owners implementing projects – perhaps distinguishing public versus private when gathering information about the project might be a good idea (LB)
  • For investment in outreach and education being made in the province – a measure of change in awareness, knowledge, attitudes and perceptions on a suite of environmental issues would be really nice. If the province can’t get this from the grassroots – perhaps they undertake a survey every three or five years on behalf of us all! (LB)
  • One area that you may want to consider adding is the amount of area being actively managed and, in the case of forests, how much harvesting may have occurred using acceptable practices and not-so acceptable practices and estimate of value.Appropriate silvicultural treatment of forests is an excellent tool for improving the health of the forests and can provide resources to support other activities such as monitoring/treating invasive species, species at risk, etc. The southern Ontario forests are a component of a working landscape and as such can provide significant economic benefits and employment opportunities in addition to EGSs. Tangible metrics such as this will assist with the rationalization of dedicating resources to future stewardship activities (RK)