In particular, Out and About Uptown’s Coast aimed to draw in candidates who might not otherwise be avid coastal stewards by tapping into other interests linked to the coast. This model of intersectional approaches allowed for a dynamic series of nine distinct events, each of which paired a more traditional ‘classroom’ learning with a hands-on, experiential elements to embed learning.
The sessions focused on:
ICA partnered with 18 local experts across the nine sessions that collectively drew over 200 participants.
The series collected data from participants regarding general environmental awareness, specific coastal awareness, and confidence in their own ability to provide stewardship of the coast. Participants reported increased understanding of the coast and ways they personally can provide stewardship. One participant even reported that that in the time since attending the series they became “more passionate about protecting and utilizing [the] lakefront and more proud to be an Uptown resident.”
The project also aimed to provide a framework for other coastal educators to create dynamic and locally responsive ways to engage and educate others about the coast. ICA produced a toolkit on the process used to design and implement the series, that include outlines of process of curating topics and partnerships, educational content shared by partners, insights from survey data, and more. Find the toolkit at bit.ly/coastaltoolkit.
Out and About Uptown’s Coast was supported by the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP) grant administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).