Looking back at the friends group regional workshops
In 2019, four regional workshops brought together friends group leaders from across Minnesota to network and discuss topics relevant to friends groups. Let’s look back at those workshops to see what we’ve learned!
Friends Groups Represented
Each workshop had sessions with guided discussions around specific topics. Because different friends groups attended each workshop, the specific ideas and discussion points varied, according to groups’ challenges and strengths. Check out the recap below for each session, and click through to find resources under each topic.
The membership session focused on how to define, track, and build membership. We learned that finding new members is a huge challenge.
While a wealth of feedback and ideas was collected at these workshops, here are a few key takeaways.
Participants were thrilled to get together, network, and discuss shared goals.
Friends groups each have varied strengths and challenges, which demonstrates there is great opportunity for cross-group learning.
Engaging new members or volunteers, especially younger folks, is a huge challenge.
Groups are interested in a few particular resources:
Membership tracking support
Template/instructions for a newsletter
Facebook group forum for friends leaders
Also, special thanks to the friends groups that supported the workshops with their time, energy, and park expertise! These events could not have happened without your generous support.
Friends of Itasca State Park
Gitchi-Gami Trail Association & Friends of Tettegouche State Park
Friends of Lake Shetek State Park
Friends of Whitewater State Park
A note from Arielle Courtney, Partnership Development Consultant, DNR
Thanks so much to everyone who participated, volunteered, or helped out with the 2019 Regional Friends Group Workshops. What a long-overdue opportunity to get together and share learnings and successes! As you can see from the follow-up information and survey, we are hoping to learn and grow from these workshops in order to provide you with better resources and information in the future. On behalf of the DNR, we appreciate your patience with us as we work to simplify and organize our processes and paperwork to make it easier to work with us long-term. I’m hoping that some of this streamlined communication will be available as you start to work with your park or trail staff on goal and project planning for 2020. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions, comments, or concerns. I’m available at 651-259-5609 or Arielle.firstname.lastname@example.org. And finally, my sincere thanks to Parks & Trails Council for putting on these workshops and bringing everyone together!
With the enthusiasm and success experienced from the 2019 friends group workshops, we are excited to work with the DNR to bring you the next iteration of a friends group workshop in 2020!
While we are amidst the planning stages, we’d like your input. Please share your thoughts by filling out the survey. Thank you!