Near the end of the first semester, the San Lorenzo Earth Team interns ran a lunch time tabling session to inform their peers about urban forestry and its benefits. The team worked for 2 weeks to prepare materials for the event. Some students worked on creating two brochures: one on the environmental benefits of trees and the other on the social and economic benefits of trees (note: trees have a LOT of benefits!). Another group made a flyer that explained how to use Open Tree Map, the app where we log tree data. Some interns also made a general knowledge survey about trees so that they could gather data about what the public knows. They walked around with iPads and approached their peers to take the survey.
Not only did the team create educational materials but they also made a scavenger hunt game! Using a worksheet, players would need to find trees on campus using only a description of the tree. Once they found the tree, they could write down the species (which was posted on the tree). If they played the game they got a prize! The interns made wristbands and stickers to hand out for people who participated in the tabling session in some way, whether it was by taking they survey or reading through a pamphlet.
Never having hosted a tabling session before, the team learned a few key lessons. First, table location is a BIG DEAL! The table was set up near the outside eating area but there was a distinct lack of foot traffic. They decided a better location in the future would be in the hallway, where more people walk and its easier to draw people in. Another important lesson was that you need to be outgoing and enthusiastic so that people become interested in what you have to say. It was harder than they thought to get people to stop by the table. A final lesson was that having a game that sent people AWAY from the table made it hard to get them to come back. In the future, a game that stays at the table might get more people involved.
This event gave great experience in community outreach to the San Lorenzo team and they look forward to more opportunities to promote their project and inform the public. Over and out!
LEADERSHIP – STEWARDSHIP – SERVICE