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POWR is officially launching its 2021 effort to measure and report on the cumulative impacts of community watershed organizations (CWOs) in Pennsylvania!

This project will use metrics and data to create a powerful message about the impacts and successes of CWOs across Pennsylvania. Success stories abound about the individual projects and educational programming led and hosted by these often volunteer-led conservation champions and stewards. But there is not, to date, an effort to cumulatively assess the impact of all of the more than 160 CWOs working in local watersheds across the commonwealth. To do this, POWR has developed a set of metrics to quantitatively measure actions and activities for watershed outcomes.

Metrics can be defined as measures of quantitative indicators used for assessing, comparing, and tracking performance or impact. Carefully tracking activities and actions using a set of meaningful metrics can help an organization better link its efforts to its mission, understand and adapt to change over time, make more meaningful investment choices, advanced strategic planning goals, and create among volunteers, supporters, and partners and desire to act and be involved in the organization’s successes.

CWO leaders are being asked to complete an online survey of metrics-based data. The survey has been developed to capture results of projects, programs, and outreach efforts typically led by CWOs. It will also capture information related to volunteer engagement and grants. POWR will then use the information submitted to tell the big picture story- a picture made possible only by the efforts of each CWO working toward a common goal.

As Tali MacArthur, Program Manager for Watershed Outreach, explains, “POWR hopes that this effort will enable CWO leaders to see themselves within the larger context of organizations who are improving the quality of life for Pennsylvanians by restoring and protecting the water quality in streams and rivers, creating compassionate conservationists and environmental stewards, and ensuring that state and private investments are supporting impactful results-oriented projects.”

This initiative provides CWOs the opportunity to share the results of their projects, educational programs, volunteer contributions, and more with POWR. In turn, we will aggregate the data to create a report documenting the immense contributions and impacts of CWOs. This report will be shared with several target audiences including legislators, funders, agency partners, and others. Such a report will highlight, with meaningful data, the impacts watershed organizations are having on water resources, watershed protection, and local communities. Additionally, by using the survey tool to tally and report annual accomplishments, individual CWOs will have important information to help tell their success stories to local partners, volunteers, and supporters and to inform and improve organizational management and project implementation over time.

POWR is asking volunteer leaders of CWOs to please take the following steps:

Click HERE for a pdf of the survey before completing the online version so that you can be prepared with the data and information you’ll need to have on hand to complete the online survey.

Then, click HERE to complete the online Survey.

Please complete the survey by February 18, 2022 so that we can include your successes in the final report.

Every CWO who completes the survey will receive a copy of the final report and any additional outreach documents such as impact summary fact sheets. POWR will also work with individual CWOs who respond to the survey to create a fact sheet that documents its individual impacts and successes in 2021.

If you have any questions or need assistance completing the survey, please contact Tali MacArthur at tmacarthur@pecpa.org

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