BUILD THE BASE!

Thank you for helping Alaska Wilderness League advance protections for our public lands and waters in Alaska. Below, find how-to guides that will make it easy to host fun educational events that “build the base” of support for wild Alaska. Hosting fun events - both small and large - will help build momentum and expand awareness about the threats to wild Alaska and how friends and family, neighbors and our communities can help. Again, thank you for being a part of the team.

TABLE FOR WILD ALASKA

You can “table” in front of a supermarket, at a carnival or community event, a farmer’s market, a busy sidewalk, colleges and universities or other highly trafficked locations to educate the general public about our lands in wild Alaska that need protection. Tabling brings new and passionate individuals into our supporter network. Bring a friend to make it more fun! NOTE: Only table where you have permission. Not all venues will allow you to set up a table without having asked or made advance arrangements.

Materials you’ll need:

1) A table or clipboard: With a sign or sticker to help demonstrate what you are doing. Just provide people with a quick description of the problem and how they can sign a petition or postcard to help. Sometimes a clipboard, a good intro, and a strong ask is all you need to be effective…even without an actual table!

2) A postcard or petition: Collecting postcards or petition signatures is a great way to educate the general public about special places in Alaska, add them to our wild Alaska supporter network, and elevate their voices! Once they’ve signed, you can deliver their signatures to decision makers and, by collecting their contact information, invite them to continue to be involved. League staff (lois[at]alaskawild[dot]org) can help you determine the best petition or postcard to bring with you at a given time, but click here for more guidance on successful signature collecting.

3) Catchy materials: If you do use a table, provide informational materials to allow people to more deeply explore information about wild Alaska.

HOST A PRESENTATION

Give presentations or show videos about special places in Alaska to get people excited about making a difference for Alaska’s wild lands and waters.  It can be as simple as inviting a few friends over for coffee or as big as presenting to a large audience in a public venue.  No matter whether you have two folks or 200, that’s more people who know that public lands in Alaska belong to all of us, and they can have a role in helping to preserve these special places for future generations.

Find and Contact a Venue

Think about locations where you already have a relationship or places you know have a regular audience such as your church, local library or community center, service clubs, local hiking club or conservation organizations, your child’s school, local businesses that have a community room, or even your living room. Contact the venue and let them know about the issue that you’d like to present.  See if they have space available for a time and date that works for you. Good times to do presentations or show videos might be evenings or a lunchtime brown-bag event.

Advertise

To get several people to attend your presentation, make sure to cast a wide net and then do personal one-on-one follow up. Ideas include email alerts, Facebook Event invitations, mailed invitations, community and online calendars, event calendars in your newspaper, and posting posters or fliers at places like coffee shops and outdoor stores.

Presentation

Alaska Wilderness League has a PowerPoint presentation with an accompanying script that you could use to educate folks about wild Alaska.  Or a pre-recorded Arctic Refuge 101 PowerPoint you can play for your audience. It is a fun straightforward way to get the message across.

Videos

We also have short videos available on: the Tongass National Forest, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Special Areas in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.  You can show one of these short videos and then give folks some background about your personal concern for the area. These videos are also available on the League’s YouTube channel, keepalaskawild.

Additional Movies available for your event:

Making the “Ask”
Once people have seen the beautiful places in Alaska we are working to protect, hopefully, they’ll be ready to add their voice to our chorus. It is important to have available a sample letter that they can handwrite to their representative or senators, or a postcard/petition that they can sign. For a sample letter or a timely petition contact Lois at (lois[at]alaskawild[dot]org). Make sure you make the “ask” and have an opportunity for people to immediately take action during any of your events.

HOST A HOUSE PARTY

Educate and motivate your friends, family, colleagues or other people in your network about keeping Alaska wild. Our videos show the beauty and diversity of these unique landscapes.  Just as important, these videos will compel the viewers to do something to make a difference. When you host a party, you should be ready to ask your peers to take an action.

The type of get-together you have depends on you. It can be an after-dinner party, a Saturday afternoon barbecue, a fun twist on your group’s monthly meeting, or a block party. The key isn’t the setting. It’s letting people know not only what is at stake, but also that they can have a big impact, whoever they are.

Party Tips:

1) Invite a variety of people. Think about more than just friends and family. Invite co-workers, hiking buddies, or that person you always see on the elevator. Sometimes having a crowd of a couple dozen people improves the atmosphere.

2) Use an online invite system. Websites like evite.com allow you to email invitations and track RSVPs.

3) Have paper and pens ready. People will be most motivated to take an action immediately after the movie, hand written letters are the most powerful, so make sure you have paper and a sample letter available, collect the letters to make sure they get delivered. You can also have a petition or postcards available.  (Check out the section above on postcards and petitions for more information.)

4) Consider inviting local elected officials to your party like your local city council person, mayor, or even your representative.

5)  Write a letter to the editor to your local newspaper outlining local support for the issue after the event. Call on your representative and senators to help work to conserve and restore wild Alaska.

6)  Take photos of your event and send us (lois[at]alaskawild[dot]org) a report on how your event went. Your photos and story will inspire others to host events of their own!