Taking Your Green Team to the Next Level
The green team is established, now what? It is important to sustain the team over time, track progress, and a have transition plan in place. Below are some resources to help take your existing green team to the next level, summarized from the Green Team 2.0 webinar, which is linked below.
Green Team 2.0 Webinar: Building Your Capacity and Promoting Your Team
Recruiting, Training & Retaining Volunteers
It can be difficult to recruit volunteers. Some of the ways green teams have recruited volunteers are:
- Word of mouth from existing members
- Events, such as a green fair or farmers market
- Bringing a friend to a green team meeting
- Online platforms, such as online volunteer applications
- Community groups
- Department announcements/recommendations
The success of a green team is largely dependent on training. A successful strategy for orienting new members to the team is to develop a Welcome Packet that contains information on Sustainable Jersey, the municipality's certification reports, and grant proposals submitted so they can learn more about the initiatives the town is working on, and gain some insight into priorities.
It is especially important to retain volunteers for the longevity of the green team. Successful retaining strategies municipalities have used include:
- Thanking volunteers and sharing credit for accomplishments with the broader community
- Encouraging members to find their passion within the work
- Providing regular program content training, such as through Sustainable Jersey Regional Hub events
- Making meetings accessible, such as providing conference call, online, or other recording options
Transition Planning - Leadership Change
Over time those on charge of the green team and certification efforts will change. It is important to establish a transition plan when leadership change occurs so that progress continues to be made. It is recommended to:
- Establish co-chairs
- Develop a plan for how transitions will work
- Partner with other municipal or community groups to help share work and ideas
- Stay active by remembering the cause/mission of the team, the energizing vision, and build a winning team spirit. Green teams might consider ice breakers at the start of each meeting to further get to know one another and make meeting more "fun".
Sustainable Jersey Regional Hubs
The Hubs program brings together green team members and other sustainability-minded community members from a regional area to keep towns connected, share experiences, learn from each other, and collaborate on projects. To learn more about the regional hubs click here.