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Quarterly Earth Team Volunteer Coordinator’s Meeting Minutes – July 10, 2013

The Earth Team (ET) Volunteers Coordinators’ meeting was held by a teleconference on July 10, 2013.

Attendees were as follows:

  • Jan Klaus, State ET Coordinator
  • Area Volunteer Coordinators
    • Toni Flax (Area1)
    • Jamie Johnson (Area 2)
    • Joyce Wade (Area 3)
    • Mechelle Foos (Area 4)
    • Diane Edwards (State Office [SO] and Plant Materials Center [PMC])

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.

Jan welcomed everyone. Minutes from the May 13, 2013, were reviewed and approved. Jan informed everyone that our Area 2 coordinator, Jamie Johnson, was being transferred to the Holton Field Office (FO) and we wished her the best. With the permission of Troy Munsch, the Assistant State Conservation for Field Operations (ASTC) in Area 4 where she is transferring to, Jamie will help us until the end of the fiscal year. Leslie Spikes, Liberal FO, will become the Area 2 ET coordinator. Thank you Jamie for all you have done!

Action Items Completed

  • Apprentice poster was completed for Kansas Website
  • Jan reviewed and updated the “Notes for Supervisors” handout for the Apprentice Program
  • Pictures of recognition items have been sent out to coordinators
  • Business plan was sent to all area coordinators

Action Items Still To Be Completed

  • Update “Benefits of Volunteering” article on the Kansas Web site (Public) using 2012 figures and also place it in Conservation Editions under “Miscellaneous”
  • Each coordinator should think about someone in their area that would make a good ET “cheerleader” to speak at an upcoming district conservationist (DC) meeting
  • Jan will work with Sheila Forrester (Public Affairs Specialist, PAS) to post ET information on Twitter—May contact other state coordinators)
  • Jan will train office assistants on reviewing ET file folders and ET tracking system during Administrative and Management Reviews—she will work on this as time permits
  • Completing an article for the “Volunteer Showcase” on the Pollinator Project in Pratt

State ET coordinator Report—Jan Klaus

  • Sent changes to update the Kansas Web site under the ET Program with the new coordinator information under the general section and the apprentice program “Notes to Supervisors”
  • Created the following recruitment posters/flyers with assistance from the area coordinators and sent them to Debbie Newton for posting to the Kansas Web site for offices to utilize as needed:
    • Earth Team Volunteer Flyer
    • High School Recruiting Flyer
    • Apprentice Program Poster
    • PMC Poster
  • May 23, 2013—Participated in the Voluntary Security Requirements training with the National Office
  • May 30, 2013—Participated in the People’s Garden Training featuring Kansas DC, Bernadette Luncsford
  • June 20, 2013—Participated in the National ET quarterly teleconference
  • Prepared reports for the 3rd Quarter and sent them to the ASTCs
  • Prepared for the 3rd quarter ET Teleconference
  • Answered questions and requests from coordinators and the National Volunteer Office on an as needed basis.

Area Coordinator Reports

Area 1—Toni Flax

  • National quarterly teleconference
  • Sent out reminder to get hours posted
  • Answered several question about what hours to count and the tracking system
  • Prepared minutes for May meeting

Area 2—Jamie Johnson

  • Field visit to McPherson to provide the Management Unit (MU) with ET training
  • Pulled current report (April) for Xiomara Tryban (ASTC) at her request to indicate which offices have not met their performance goal
  • Provided follow up information to the McPherson MU
  • Emailed all DCs and district managers (DMs) about potential volunteer time utilizing the “Bring Your Daughters and Son to Work Day®”
  • Organized and assisted with the establishment of a Peoples Garden—Pollinator Garden in Pratt
  • Emailed information to all employees in Area 2 about the Thematic Training teleconference on Peoples Garden
  • Revamped apprentice poster and ET recruitment poster for schools
  • Sent Jan information for the upcoming “Did You Know” series
  • Sent a reminder to FO to enter hours
  • Assisted and responded to any questions from the FOs pertaining to the ET program or the ET Tracking system
  • Trained DC in Stafford County on how to enter data in the ET Tracking system
  • Trained DC in Edwards County how to enter data in the ET Tracking system
  • Emailed offices reminding them to capture the eligible ET hours and volunteers from their Local Work Group meetings
  • Checked and corrected the ET tracking system for volunteer activities which were inadvertently captured under “No Activity”
  • Checked ET tracking system for duplicate entries

Area 3 – Joyce Wade

  • Sent reminders to FOs for entering hours
  • Assisted several offices with loading hours and passwords
  • Added several new DMs so they can load hours for their FOs
  • May have a high school apprentice
  • Our other apprentice graduated from high school, will possibly continue volunteering while in college
  • Listened to the People’s Garden training on May 30, 2013
  • Listened to the 3rd quarter teleconference on June 20, 2013

Area 4 – Mechelle Foos

  • Talked to three MUs about completing the volunteer assessment
  • Date set to complete volunteer assessment in Lyndon MU at their MU meeting but meeting was subsequently cancelled
  • Assisted Alma FO with getting an apprentice signed up
  • Called six offices with zero hours in the tracking system—five of them got hours entered prior to end of 3rd quarter
  • Worked with Manhattan Area Office (AO) on a possible volunteer/apprentice; the potential volunteer became aware of the ET program from our Web site
  • Republic County reported a possible apprentice; after discussion, they should be a volunteer due to only helping with stakeout and design
  • Visited with Topeka FO about a People’s Garden—sent info about People’s Garden training
  • Sent an email and followed up with a phone call to Lyndon and Lawrence FOs about the People’s Garden training
  • Visited with Alma field office about error in tracking system and also setting up groups to make reporting hours easier
  • Listened to Volunteer Security Policy teleconference on May 15, 2013
  • Listened to the People’s Garden training on May 30, 2013
  • Listened to the 3rd quarter teleconference on June 20, 2013
  • Ran area report at end of May to check for errors and check progress of offices that had zero hours reported
  • Sent an email to all Area 4 employees about getting hours entered by June 28, 2013
  • Answered several questions about the ET program.
  • Received a request for an ET promotion brochure that the district could put on their Facebook page

State office/PMC - Diane Edwards

  • Two new volunteers and one at the PMC
  • Working with Rich at PMC on a needs assessment and anticipating more hours for the PMC
  • Working with a student on background checks in order to become an apprentice in the SO
  • Listened to Volunteer Security Training teleconference on May 15, 2013
  • Listened to 3rd quarter teleconference on June 20, 2013

Earth Team Third Quarter Report

  • Area 1—709 volunteers, 3888 hours
  • Area 2—347 volunteers, 2511.25 hours
  • Area 3—374 volunteers, 2917.5 hours
  • Area 4—365 volunteers, 2470.5 hours
  • State Office/PMC—13 volunteers, 75.75 hours
  • Statewide Office Participation—99% (100 of 101 offices)

Current Apprentices

  • Area 1—1—Hays FO
  • Area 2—1—Ashland
  • Area 3—1—Erie
  • Area 4—1—Alma
  • State Office—1

New Action Items

  • Jan will work on bulletin for SO to send out on 2013 Volunteer Awards; need to encourage offices to get their nominations in
  • Write a new “Did you Know” for CSP, Local Work Groups, CRP, Feds Feeds Families
  • Select award winners for 2013

People’s Garden

  • Peoples Garden training was May 30th
  • Jan is our state contact person

Old Business

  • Regional training has been cancelled due to funding; Michelle and Bonnie will work with the Regional Conservationists and use tracking system to determine where training is needed and they will be traveling to those states
  • Kansas will attempt to obtain the new national office exhibit template banner stand to have one made for each area to utilize for recruitment
  • 2013 Business Plan was reviewed
  • Discussed new forms
  • One-time group can be archived for 2012; some one-time groups may need to be a reoccurring group
  • Keep track of errors in system
  • Remember awards can be given any time of the year
  • Need success stories for Volunteer Showcase and Kansas Web site
  • The Employee feature story will be put on hold at the national level for now; Kansas has already done a feature story on employees that started as volunteers, so we will be ahead of the game when they ask for this information
  • Photo release permission will be added to the new Form-301A

New Business

  • Volunteer referrals—the National Office will contact Jan and she will contact referral to ask what they are interested in; if we are able to utilize them based on their interest, the area coordinator will be contacted to work with referral and local office
  • Security training—Kansas does not have an age limit, all ages require a background check
  • Discussed Friends of Conservation—we will keep what we are currently doing

Meeting Adjourned at 4:04 p.m.

Our next meet will be held on September 18, 2013, in the SO Conference Center, Salina beginning at 10 a.m.