The Nova Scotia Nature Trust
The Nova Scotia Nature Trust has seen unbelievable growth over the last year. When Ryan joined their team she was the first volunteer coordinator in their 25 year history. With 96 properties to steward (and counting) she had her plate full in connecting with volunteers across the province to support in monitoring those areas. She recognized early on that managing the many relationships needed to be successful in that work was simply not going to work if it was just her alone.
Through her engagement organizing training, Ryan learned about snowflake structures for volunteer teams, and decided to build hubs of volunteers testing the theory to support properties that were further away from their office in Halifax. After a simple glance of a map showing their properties, she identified two areas of clusters of their properties which could be supported by teams of volunteers working together and having fun doing it. The two pilot sites were along the St. Mary’s River (12 properties) and in the 100 Wild Islands (13 properties). For these areas, she used new technology tools to communicate with a team of existing and newly recruited volunteers and built a social element into their training and monitoring activities. She also invested in building out the Nature Trust’s database to track volunteers more strategically, allowing for management that is more effective. The results thus far have been extremely positive; growing their guardians program by 90%. Ryan has already begun identifying future hub locations across the province.