How Can the Use of the Guide be Promoted

Several effective mechanisms have been identified to promoting the further use of the Guide.

The following are examples of ways and means to accomplish this:

Formulate an official linkage with a partnership stewardship organization in Ontario that can promote and co-ordinate action with respect to users of the Guide. This mechanism will provide a ‘community of practice’ approach to linking users of the Guide.  The Stewardship Network of Ontario or Conservation Ontario are examples of organizations that would be useful for this purpose.

Reach out to additional players involved in rural lands such as real estate personnel, water/septic system service providers, land appraisers, home inspectors, lawyers, land trusts, nature clubs (ON), insurance companies, municipalities, faith groups, horticultural societies etc. They could help to promote the guide. Maybe tie it to other activities, incentives or requirements.

Highlight availability of Guide through research work, and networking opportunities from the University of Guelph to other organizations, e.g. Public Health Ontario, Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition.

Work with MNR stewardship ‘partnership specialists’ to advise them on the availability of the Guide. The ‘specialists’ are in new positions created in the fall of 2012 through a reorganization and rationalization process, i.e. replacement from earlier stewardship co-ordinator positions with MNR across the Province.

Do a gap analysis of where the Guide is currently being used, and focus efforts on places where there are new opportunities to promote it.

Scan existing landscape strategies and community action plans that need to be implemented and work with existing stakeholders to promote use of the Guide as an implementation tool.

Use Watershed Report Cards to focus efforts at sub-watershed level (e.g. Dingman Creek, Upper Thames)

Market the Guide to organizations that are currently implementing action on land stewardship in the Province, i.e. MOE’s Great Lakes Cleanup initiative.

Use self-identification property markers to heighten awareness of the property occupants using the Guide, i.e. signage placed on the street edge explaining ‘THIS PROPERTY HAS AN ONTARIO ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PLAN’, i.e. patterned after the Canadian-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan signage program (This farm has an Ontario Environmental Farm Plan). Also ‘pledge to action’ certificates may also be used for self-motivation and action reinforcement to property owners interested in stewardship action.

Host tours of sites that have started to implement Environmental Stewardship Plans.

Utilize web to its full advantage by placing links and/or postings of ‘good news’ stories of users of the Guide. This can include:

  1. testimonial videos – this can include property owner  who have used the Guide and made environmental enhancements to their property; organizational representatives that have used the Guide in their education and stewardship action endeavours.
  2. webinars on ‘how to use’ the Guide.
  3. a potential ‘on-line’ Guide Use application.