Action: Grow public appreciation for the essential role CFPA plays in the economy, quality of life, and enjoyment of Connecticut’s forests, parks, and trails.
What is it?
Public appreciation does not always translate into financial and volunteer support. After all, you have probably heard on a fund drive for national public radio that 9 out of 10 people who listen to NPR do not support it financially. Similarly, a vast majority of people who walk on the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails are not supporters of CFPA, even if they know about CFPA’s essential, ongoing role in maintaining the trails with significant staff and volunteer investments. Of course, to “spread the word” CFPA staff, board, and volunteers need to be active in building public appreciation for CFPA’s conservation work.
Building and maintaining public appreciation for CFPA is an ongoing process. To connect potential supporters and partners to CFPA, we must:
- Utilize CFPA’s most tangible assets (HQ, Goodwin Education Center, the Blue-Blazed Hiking Trails, and other CFPA properties) to our advantage. Signage at all locations will improve recognition. Trailhead signs and kiosks are primary connections to our largest potential member/donor audience.
- Improve our efforts to tell stories online, in CT Woodlands, in personal contacts, and in the media that demonstrate the essential role CFPA plays in Connecticut’s quality of life.
- Provide permanent CFPA display materials to retailers beyond our current business friends (EMS, REI, etc) to make the less common connection (boats, dog walkers, etc).
- Provide permanent CFPA display materials to our corporate supporters if allowed.
- Build on our social media presence (Facebook) to drive traffic to the CFPA website.
- Maintain fresh content on the website making it the first place our target audiences will look for information of interest.
- Leverage periodic opportunities to get statewide and even national media coverage (e.g. CT Trails Day and New England Trail news).
Why is it important?
Similar to our efforts to increase membership, a sustained campaign to grow public appreciation for forests, parks, trails, and CFPA’s role in preserving them, is essential if we wish to implement “Today’s Land, Tomorrow’s Legacy.” CFPA will need to leverage significant resources from members, volunteers, board, staff, and many community partners, and it will be progressively easier to attract all of these resources and partners as public appreciation and support grows.
What will the impact be?
Increased public appreciation for CFPA will enhance the following:
- Political influence leading to better protection of and funding for forests, parks, and trails;
- Attendance at CFPA events/workshops leading to greater personal connections to the outdoors;
- Volunteers and partners throughout the state working to preserve Connecticut’s natural legacy;
- Membership and funding opportunities to support CFPA’s conservation programs; and
- Implementation of “Today’s Land, Tomorrow’s Legacy” will transform Connecticut’s outdoors for all and forever.