37 COMMUNITY EDUCATION

37.1        INTRODUCTION.............................................................................................................37-1

37.1.1     Principles..........................................................................................................37-1

37.1.2     What is Community Education?.........................................................................37-1

37.2        STEPS IN DEVELOPING AN EDUCATION PROGRAM.........................................................37-2

37.2.1     Analyse the Issue or Problem............................................................................37-2

37.2.2     Identify Stakeholders........................................................................................37-2

37.2.3     Know Your Target Group...................................................................................37-2

37.2.4     Determine Objective and Outcomes...................................................................37-2

37.2.5     Design Your Methods........................................................................................37-3

37.2.6     Sources of Funding...........................................................................................37-4

37.2.7     Make an Action Plan and Implement it..............................................................37-4

37.2.8     Monitor and Evaluate........................................................................................37-4

37.3        SECTORAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS................................................................................37-4

37.3.1     School Education...............................................................................................37-4

37.3.2     Business or Commercial Education.....................................................................37-5

37.3.3     Internet............................................................................................................37-5

APPENDIX 37.A EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS.........................................37-7

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37.1 INTRODUCTION

Typical education programs to promote housekeeping and educational water quality control might include:

      Primary school curriculum (including videos, books and coordinated study units).

      Secondary/tertiary school program and involvement.

      Community education (leaflets, posters, media, etc.).

      Council staff training.

      Business/commercial education.

A range of such programs exists in several overseas, many of them having a strong interactive component.

Most of the more successful projects appear to be those where the level of community involvement is also matched by goals and targets that seem achievable.

These initiatives appear to be at their most effective when they involve students/school children, local authorities, business and the community.

All education initiatives should be coordinated so that the themes are consistent across all levels, resulting in a consistent message.

The guidelines in this section have been adapted from "Managing Urban Stormwater: Source Control" produced jointly by NSW Environment Protection Authority and NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation in draft form in August 1997. The incorporation of this material is gratefully acknowledged.

37.1.1 Principles

Education is not the only factor those influence peoples' behaviour. So education projects may not result in an immediate change for the better - particularly in the short term. This is because people's behaviour is also influenced by:

      The social values and standards passed on in the home, at school, through social groups and the media;

      Age, gender, ethnicity, income and occupation;

      Recent events;

      Infrastructure such as the availability of technology, products and services;

      Economic factors such as financial incentives or disincentives; and

      Laws, regulations and policies - and how these are monitored or enforced.

Education should therefore be considered as one of a number of complementary mechanisms to address issues that arise from people's actions. Other useful mechanisms for change are:

      Enforcement: policy, legislation and regulation.

      Economics: monetary incentives and disincentives.

      Engineering, science and technology.

      Evaluation monitoring and research.

This section provides a brief summary of the steps that can be followed in preparing a community education project and provides additional information on preparing a community education project for stormwater quality management. These programs can be developed by local government, catchment management committees and community groups.

37.1.2 What is Community Education?

Pollution from diffused sources such as roads, residential, industrial and commercial areas, result from millions of actions at thousands of locations within a catchment. Individual acts such as allowing a can to leak oil, washing paint brushes into drains, not cleaning up after dogs, or inappropriate use of household chemicals may appear harmless, but when carried out across a number of homes or across the whole of a state, these actions become a significant source of pollution. Stormwater quality management needs to be addressed by the community, as well as by state and local government. It is important that a team approach to protecting the quality of stormwater is established. Community education can play a significant role in the improvement of stormwater quality.

Community education is a process used to:

      Create awareness of an issues and enhance people's knowledge, understanding and skills

      Influence peoples values and attitudes

      Encourage more responsible behaviour

Community education incorporates aspects of:

      Public involvement

      Adult education

      Vocational education and training

      School and tertiary education

      Community development

      Communications or social marketing (mass media, public relations and campaigns)

Effective community education projects have the following characteristics:

      Involvement of stakeholders and learners in decisions about the planning, management, content, style and delivery of the project

      Creation of a supportive environment for influencing behaviour

      Support and strengthening of existing community networks; help create new ones

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      Motivation

      Provision of opportunities for examining beliefs and values

      Identification and promotion of positive actions, rather than discouragement of undesirable actions

      They are relevant, accessible and affordable, recognising the differing circumstances and constraints in a community

      They use two-way communication methods

      They respond to the diverse needs of the community

Collaboration is the key to successful community education projects.

37.2 STEPS IN DEVELOPING AN EDUCATION PROGRAM

This section describes the steps that can be followed in developing an education program.

By way of example, a listing of overseas examples of Education Programs is included in Appendix 37.A of this chapter.

37.2.1 Analyse the Issue or Problem

Find out what is causing concern in the community and break the issue down into its components. Issues and problems may include:

      Oils and grease in waterways, with potential sources including roads, shops and other commercial premises, light and heavy industrial premises

      Litter in waterways, with potential source areas including shopping centres, commercial premises, recreation areas,

      Algal growth in waterways or depressed dissolved oxygen levels due to excessive nutrients, with potential sources including residential areas, parks and gardens

      Sedimentation of waterways, with potential sources including building or construction sites, roads, eroding river banks

      Heavy metals in waterways and sediments, with potential sources including roads, industrial areas and contaminated sites

      Reduced fish population, with potential causes including over-fishing, loss of aquatic habitat or riparian vegetation, water pollution, changed flow characteristics or a barrier to fish movement.

      Weed infestation of urban bushland, potentially caused by nutrients in stormwater and the transport of seeds from urban areas by stormwater.

      Bank erosion, with potential causes including the removal of riparian vegetation or changed flow characteristics

37.2.2   Identify Stakeholders

Identify the stakeholders, involve them and find out where they stand in relation to the issue.

Potential stakeholders who have an interest (or stake) in a stormwater education project include:

      Local residents and their political representatives

      Local conservation and community groups

      Local shops, possibly represented by a local Commerce Groups

      Schools, colleges and Universities.

      State or nation-wide interest groups, representing recreational, environmental, industrial or commercial interests.

      Local authorities

      National and State Government agencies, such as the Department of Irrigation and Drainage and the Department of Environment.

37.2.3   Know Your Target Group

Identify and get to know the target group early in the project.

Potential target groups for an education campaign include:

      Residents and landowners

      Builders or construction workers

      Local businesses (owners and staff), particularly small businesses. These can include food stalls, convenience stores, service stations and car repair businesses, and light industrial premises. Business or industry organisations can also be targeted.

      Land and property developers.

Education programmes for particular sectors are discussed in Section 37.3.

37.2.4   Determine Objective and Outcomes

Determine the result you want from the community education project.

It is important to be realistic about your goals and objectives, and how you can evaluate the extent to which they have been met. Be clear and specific about what you want from your project. The objectives may be both short and long-term.

Potential objectives for a stormwater education project may include:

      Increase knowledge about the environmental impacts of urban stormwater

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      Highlight the connection between activities undertaken by the target audience and the resulting environmental impacts

      Identify potential ways to change actions to minimise environmental impacts.

      Develop an understanding of the benefits of improved environmental management to the audience, which may be economic or publicity.

Possible outcomes related to these objectives may include:

      Evidence of improved management practices by the target audience

      Evidence of a reduction in the magnitude of the problem that has initiated the education campaign

      Educational products including brochures, posters

      Positive media feedback

      A report on the project, which shares the experiences gained on this project with other groups planning similar projects.

Consideration can also be given to both short and long term goals:

      Short-term goals - these can focus on changing general community understanding of how streets, gutters, stormwater systems, and waterways interconnected

      Long-term goals - these goals can focus on changing specific polluting behaviours that result in stormwater pollution. Long-term goals focus on influencing values and behaviour change by encouraging a sense of responsibility for and appreciation of our waterways.

To be effective in meeting pollution reduction goals, the majority of a program's resources may initially be spent on short-term goals. As the program succeeds in changing specific behaviours and in addressing all identified problems, greater resources could be allocated to the long-term goals of increasing community understanding, appreciation, and values.

37.2.5 Design Your Methods

Investigate the methods, tools and techniques you could use to achieve your goal, objectives and outcomes.

(a) Methods

A brainstorming session with stakeholders could be undertaken to identify potential methods for a particular program.

It is important to keep in mind the target group and the techniques likely to be most effective for this group. These methods can range from informing techniques used to increase knowledge and awareness, to demonstration methods for improving skills. People learn differently, so a

variety of methods could be considered to increase your effectiveness. Community education projects which use only "information giving" methods rarely have long term success. Budgetary considerations may influence the methods chosen.

Possible methods for a stormwater program may include:

      Audio-visual tools such as video recordings, audio recordings and slides.

      Awards to encourage and recognise achievements & highlight case studies of innovative projects or good practice.

      Curricula and courses through schools, universities, and community colleges. This could include certification of participants who have attended training courses.

      Demonstrations such as water quality monitoring, which could be part of a community water quality monitoring program.

      Exhibitions, displays and models. These can be displayed at events such as trade shows, community days, festivals, shopping centres or field study centres

      Permanent displays and signs can be erected adjacent to waterways.

      Stormwater inlets can be stencilled with pictures (icons) such as a fish - more effective than writing

      A tagged litter survey can be carried out.

      Targeted grants can be provided to groups to encourage community involvement.

      Individual advice, communication or instruction to members of the target group on appropriate management practices.

      Interactive computer packages including the Internet and CD ROMs.

      Launches of products or projects

      Mass media, including advertising and publicity.

      Meetings and discussions - steering, advisory and consultative groups.

      Peer education.

      Print material, e.g. brochures, posters, booklets, letters, newsletters, stickers, bookmarks.

      Talks, presentations and seminars.

      Tours, open days and field days.

      Training, train-the-trainer and training modules.

      Workshops.

(b) Messages

There are two basic concepts that can form the basis of the messages in a stormwater education program:

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(i) Understanding the stormwater system

The key element to the success of the program will depend on making the connection between people's daily activities that create pollution, and stormwater quality. People need to understand that stormwater inlets and open drains are the entry points for many pollutants which flow to nearby waterways through the stormwater system.

The stormwater system should only carry stormwater; not waste or wash-down water, rubbish, litter, or any other contaminant that can practically be prevented from entering the system. Most urban areas are served with sewerage (or septic tank) systems and waste collection services, so there is no need to dump wastes in the stormwater system.

(ii) Housekeeping and source control are the most

effective and economic means of solving the problem.

Refer to the listing of Housekeeping Practices in Chapter 36.

It is important that the message(s) in an education program are communicated effectively. The following points can assist with more effective communication:

      Model the education program after programs prepared by government bodies and other local authorities, such as the "Love Our Rivers" program developed by the Department of Irrigation and Drainage. Where possible, integrate stormwater public education and participation into existing programs operated by other council departments (e.g. precinct committees).

      Implement public education as a coordinated campaign in which each message is related to the last.

      Present a clear and consistent message and highlight to the public how they contribute to stormwater pollution and what they can do to reduce it.

      Small businesses that often possess the same limited awareness of the problems, regulations and solutions as the 'general' public. As a result small businesses need the same level of technical assistance (education) and participation in the stormwater management process as the 'general' public.

      Use local languages to reach all elements of the population.

      Create an awareness of local catchment issues, to encourage identification by the public of impacts on an area that they are familiar with (e.g. a popular swimming beach).

      Encourage community involvement in the preparation of the educational material. This has the potential to create better educational material and encourages them to take more responsibility.

      Use 'plain language' in all educational material and reduce the technical terms, acronyms and jargon.

      Ensure that all statements have a sound technical basis to avoid the spread of misinformation.

      Break down complicated messages into simpler concepts. These messages can be presented to the public in an organised way to avoid 'overloading' and confusing the audience.

37.2.6   Sources of Funding

Identify possible funding sources and the benefits for potential funding organisations.

Funding may be either financial or in-kind contributions. Potential sources of funding may include:

      Grants from local authorities.

      State Government grants.

      National Government grants

      Private sponsorships.

37.2.7   Make an Action Plan and Implement it

Prepare an action plan to ensure that you achieve your project's goal and objectives.

An action plan identifies who has to do what by when, and what resources will be needed. The plan is designed to keep all participants on track.

37.2.8   Monitor and Evaluate

Monitor and evaluate the project and tell people about it. This may be the most difficult step in education project planning and is therefore left out of many project designs.

It is very rare for all aspects of a project to be successful, so it is as important to identify opportunities for improving your project as it is to report on the project's success.

With broader community participation there may be distinct advantages in all of the local authorities, involved in a particular catchment, funding a coordinator education officer whose principle tasks should involve as much facilitation (co-ordinating programs, putting schools in touch, sourcing resources and funds) as it is in direct education. The appointment of such a person may achieve greater net benefit than leaflets, posters, etc.

37.3 SECTORAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS

37.3.1 School Education

School education should be primarily targeted at encouraging a positive attitude towards maintaining ecologically viable waterways. This can be done through providing an understanding of the role of waterways and the ways people positively and negatively influence those waterways.

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This can be achieved through units of study contained in the curriculum, as well as interaction with community, government and business organisations.

As an example, a number of successful programs have been put in place in Australia that involve school children in assessing and monitoring the health of local streams. These schemes can provide valuable scientific information whilst educating children on the interactions of society and the environment. A list of these programs is included in the Appendix for reference.

37.3.2 Business or Commercial Education

There are three main areas that should be addressed with respect to business/commercial education. These are:

      Awareness of the impact of commercial activity on the environment.

      Understanding of Best Management Practices.

      Increasing awareness of the financial benefits of appropriate design.

Financial benefits can include:

      Better land values for developments that include wetlands and "natural watercourse" style drainage.

      Recycling/reuse of industrial chemicals rather than discharging them.

      Retention of riparian land values through adequate control measures.

Community education can be used to help with general business awareness of stormwater pollution issues, however more specific education can be effected through Building Controls and Best Management Practice guidelines. These are discussed in more detail in Chapter 36.

37.3.3 Internet

Use of the Internet can also be a powerful measure in increasing liaison. This may provide opportunities for:

      Information sharing on programs.

      Questionnaires.

      School children's questions and answers format.

      Sharing of results of information collection schemes, etc.

      Educational games.

      News on Awards results.

      Accessing information from similar programs in other countries.

An example of this use is given by Brashear, Promise and Roesner (1999). The authors note that almost anyone can access the World Wide Web. "Literally thousands of web sites exist for the purpose of public outreach. Without a doubt, the Web will evolve to be the future of communication amongst those developing and needing guidance on urban water resources management."

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APPENDIX 37.A EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY EDUCATION PROGRAMS

NAME OF PROGRAM AGENCY/PROMOTER GENERAL GOALS DETAILS CONTACTS

COMMUNITY/ENVIRONMENT AND BUSINESS GROUPS

Kids, Companies and Creeks

Oz Green with Local Councils

School education and participation intended also to achieve improvements in industry stormwater management

Has been run in various localities in Sydney including Manly, Warringah and Cattai

Oz Green

Tel +61 (2) 9971 4098

Ocean Care

Surfrider Foundation

Non-profit organisation protecting beaches and surf through education activism and research

Exhibitions and demonstrations

http://www.surfrider.orq.au

Backyard to Bay

Queensland Master Builders

Objective of improving building practices and reducing impacts on stormwater quality

Includes management guideline

QMBA

Clean Up Australia

Clean Up Australia

Annual clean up day with nationwide community involvement

Also funding for specific clean up projects

http://www.cleanup.com.au

BOOKS, VIDEOS, CDs, GUIDELINES

Stormwater Industries Association Newsletter

Stormwater Industries Association Inc.

Monthly bulletin on Stormwater Management Initiatives

includes news and technical articles from Australia and 0/S

SIA Inc

Tel +61 (2) 98107805

FAX 1800 659 382

Gould League Educational Kits

Gould League, Victoria

Publications and programs

Includes teacher led half and full day marine and catchment programs

http://www.qould.edu.au

What We Need is a Community Education Project

NSW EPA/DLWC

Guidelines on preparing and running community based environmental education programs

Includes 5 project test cases in NSW

EPA

Tel +61 (2) 9795 5000

Interactive Urban Stormwater CD-ROM

Drummoyne Council

Interactive CD with focus on school education

EPA Streamwatch funded

Drummoyne Council Tel +61 (2) 9819 6555

Texas Non-point SourceBOOK

Texas Chapter, American Public Works Association

Internet site

On-line database of BMPs, management practices, legal and funding issues and water quality information

http://www.txnpsbook.orq

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NAME OF PROGRAM AGENCY/PROMOTER GENERAL GOALS DETAILS CONTACTS

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Let's Clean Up Winding Creek

Lake Macquarie City Council, EPA and community

Community education on impacts and participation in improving the creek environment

Included a range of initiatives and actions involving community schools TAFE and Business

Lake Macquarie City Council Loren Morgan, enven@lakemac.nsw.gov.au

Restoring the waters

Fairfield City council

Long term program to restore the original creek alignment and character clear Paddock Creek

Involved extensive community involvement and land art interpretation

Litter Awareness

Waverley Council

Education Program: raising of community awareness of litter impacts

EPA Storm watch funded

Waverley Council

Don't dump on Dee Why Lagoon

Warringah Council

Improvement in the water quality in Lagoon system

EPA Stormwatch funded

Warringah Council

Soil and Water Management on Building sites

Waverley Council

Guidelines for improved sediment control from building sites

EPA Stormwatch Funded

Waverley Council

Gross Pollutant Trap Education Program

Hurstville Council

Aimed at educating community on roles of GPTs

EPA Funded

Hurstville Council

Tel +61 (2) 9330 6214

Alexandra Canal Catchment Environmental Education and Review Program.

South Sydney Council with Botany and Marrickville Councils

Contact council for details

EPA funded

South Sydney Council

Streets to Rivers

Marrickville and Canterbury Councils

Community education campaign to increase awareness of impacts of the individual and business

Including graphic posters and leaflets in a number of languages

Marrickville Council

Healthy Waterways Melbourne, Victoria

Melbourne Water Corporation

Installations Studies Programs and education initiatives to improve the cities waterways

Programs include Drains to the Bay Education Kit developed with Rotary

Melbourne Water

Corporation

Tel +61 (3) 9235 7100

Yellow Fish Road Drain Marketing

Pittwater Council

Stickers on drains based on successful Canadian Program. Involves business sponsorship

Bright Yellow Fish Stickers used to attract attention

Pittwater Council

Feral Trolleys

Georges River CMC and EPA

School program to raise awareness of abandoned shopping trolleys

Includes mapping and identification of source of trolleys

Georges River CMC, EPA

Art of the river

Cooks River Foreshores Working Party

Increases community knowledge and feedback through ephemeral artworks

Included art postcards with brief question on stormwater

Marrickville Council

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NAME OF PROGRAM

AGENCY/PROMOTER

GENERAL GOALS

DETAILS

CONTACTS

CMCs AND NGOs

Gutter and Guardians

Torrens Catchment Water Management Board

Internet site promoting better water management in industry and the home

Board and the community

http://www.cvmb.sa.aov.a u/index.htm

Streamly Clean

Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust

Upper Parramatta River Catchment Trust

Why Down The Drain

Georges River CMC

Educational program on litter / pollution impacts

Georges River CMC

Auto Repair Business Survey

Centennial Park Trust and EPA

To inform auto repairers on possible practice impacts and means of reduction of pollutants entering pond system

Included guidelines and questionnaire

EPA

Streamwatch

EPA

Stormwater monitoring program and associated education for school children

Also involves councils, DLWC and CMCs

http: //www.stream watch, o ra.au

Harbourwatch

EPA

Similar to Streamwatch but related to harbour foreshores

As above

EPA

P.I.T.S Drain Stencilling

Waterwatch Victoria

Pollution in the streams program aimed at primary and secondary school students

Includes education kit

Cbarnes@chw.net.au

Investigating your Catchment

Waterwatch SA

To improve water quality monitoring through school education and sharing information

Internet site includes homework Hotline and "Q and A's"

http://www.cnbw.sa.aov.a u/kwc

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