CCC 2017 RESULTS
Total Demonstration Houses Organized: 97
(84 returning and 13 new)
Combined curb footage cleaned of leaves each week: 5,559 feet*
*At the end of November we ask each DH in our network to report to us via an online survey how many feet of curb they took responsibility for keeping clean of leaf litter once a week during the 6 to 8 weeks of leaf drop season. We then sum the total from each DH to get our aggregated total.
PLUG INTO OUR FORMULA provided by University of MN scientist, Dr. Sarah Hobbie: 5,559 feet of curb cleaned x .00125 pounds of P prevented per foot cleaned = 6.95 pounds of phosphorus prevented from local waters: Como Lake and the Mississippi River.
CCC project grant: $0 (we chose to forgo grant money this year!)
Pounds of P prevented: 6.95
Cost per pound of P prevented = $0
The ‘mean’ of feet of curb cleaned: 78
The ‘median’ of feet of curb cleaned: 40
The difference in results between 2016 and 2017 (6.95# vs. 13.73# of P prevented) makes a good argument, we believe, for the importance of having a leadership team that does some organizing and communication work.
1. We did an accidental experiment in 2017 – due to life issues for our lead organizer, the ‘lead’ of the lead team was AWOL in directing the LT in active organizing for the 2017 CCC. As a result:
– The LT did no ‘organized’ organizing of new DHs in 2017 (only random, happenstance organizing). We had 84 DHs return in 2017 – 78% (in 2016 we had 78 return – 92%) and we only gained 13 new DHs in 2017 (in 2016 we gained 32).
– We did only sporadic email communications to DHs, including rain alerts, during the 5 weeks of CCC. In 2016 we did a weekly e-blast and rain alerts for each rain event.
– We did almost no messages on neighborhood online forums, Nextdoor and Facebook, and very few messages via District 10 Community Council’s weekly e-blast. In 2016 we did several of these.
– We did not send reminders to complete the Survey Monkey questionnaire, used to tally results – only got 44 (out of 97) DH responses. Therefore, for those who did not report, we only count the default of 40 feet of curb cleaned. On average, over half of those who report end up reporting more than 40 feet, so probably we under-estimated actually footage cleaned with our default.
2. We did not request reports from Como neighbors ‘generally’ (beyond DHs) if they cleaned their curbs. In 2016, we asked this question of the broader Como community via Nextdoor, Facebook, and D10’s e-blast and tallied 193 ‘general’ curb cleaners, for which we count as doing only 1/4th of what a DH does, but this still added up to an extra 1,930 feet in our 2016 totals. We had none of that to add to our 2017 totals.
3. We did not seek grant money, which (in all honesty) lessened the pressure on our lead organizer to do more. :) Our intent was to do our own fundraising, but due to #1 above, that did not come to fruition. :(
WAY more info than is warranted perhaps, but just wanted to do this quick analysis as much for ourselves (the LT) as for everyone else. We think this makes the case that organizing DOES matter. But it also makes the case that even when virtually no organizing is done, there is still at least a little bit of a self-propelling inertia when you have an organized network of neighbors. Though probably this would erode pretty quickly over a year or two if there’s no guiding/encouraging leadership.
Thus, our conclusions:
1. We MUST get the LT up to speed on how to organize and lead the network so they are not hamstrung by the crazy life of the lead organizer!
2. Adding new folks each year to our Demonstration House network is really important, therefore ‘organized’ organizing is really important.
3. E-communications matter – the weekly messages, the rain alerts, the messages to the broader neighborhood. These keep momentum going, remind DHs they are part of something larger – a meaningful, synchronized, collective effort – and add to the fun, neighborly vibe.
Como Curb Cleanup Overview
Video: Make a Simple Composter
Backyard Composting 101
Como Lakeshed Map
Research on Leaves and Stormwater
Photos of Como Curb Cleaners
Downloadable CCC Promo Materials