What if it's not enough?

I recently received this feedback regarding the 5 Star Plan:

“Hello Shaun, Thank you for this informative website. I really appreciate that you have laid out your objectives and plans. I understand that you’ll push for volunteerism, however, I just wonder what the plan of action is if volunteer turnout is not enough? What if fundraising also doesn’t bring in enough? Sorry, a bit of pessimism in me. Thank you for your time. Regards, Grace ”



Thank you so much for contacting me on my website. I appreciate the feedback. What is the plan of action f volunteer turnout is not enough? What if fundraising isn't enough? I would ask, "Enough for what?"
      There are some expenses the SSWCD has, and those get met by contributions from the supervisors and from citizens. Truth be told they are a bit silly and can even be done cheaper or free, (Websites, email, etc.). Some can not, yet. 
     If we were rallying for a lake cleanup, we work with what we have and earmark the rest for next time. Every other month I organize an Adopt-A-Road clean up in Lake Mary along Lake Mary Blvd (except this month due to the elections). If not "enough" people show up, then we are as effective as we can be and honor everyone's efforts by working hard. I wouldn't turn to a small group and say, "You're not enough."  The SWAN program, the SSWCD Certified Neighborhoods, the fundraising, the business promotion, and the education programs will have a result. 
     I know how benign that sounds. The results as of now, the status quo, is a bit dismal. There can only be improvement. I have been door-knocking for weeks now and these ideas have resonated well. I will contact those in my records that have responded in kind and offer the positions to them (and you) first. 
   The Conservation District does not mandate, nor legislate. Volunteerism is what we have. If we get less than we need, then the public will not realize the cooperation they need. That's it. A natural consequence for passive resignation to the status quo. Most people do not bother to size one another up at a goodwill volunteer event. Could you imagine the community we could build when we all realize that we work together very well when we shut off the news, get outside and get working together? I can.
Thank you very much,

Shaun's 5 Star Plan for Seminole Soil and Water Conservation District

I’ve been an educator for almost 20 years. I’ve been an advocate for individual rights and justice here in Seminole County.  

I’m trying to do five very specific things with this office.

  1. Community Involvement
    • I will build a Soil and Water Ambassadors Network (SWAN) of concerned citizens around the county which will share time and resources and advocate for their individual neighborhoods.
    • The same would hold for innovative businesses that are aiding the cause.
  2. Incentive
    • I will offer a certification for neighborhoods who agree to best practices in lawn care, water conservation, and land-use.
    • There would be another for businesses who do the same, or innovate in the name of conservation.
  3. Unburdened Citizens
    • I will create a unique income stream of donation meters around the county and partnerships with farms to sell landscaping mulch and compost. This way the soil and water conservation district never has to be another burden on taxpayers.
    • I will be a presence at interested organizational meetings, keeping environmentalism voluntary, not mandatory.
  4. Education and Outreach
    • I want to increase the educational out reach by taking the annual poster contest and expanding it to arts and crafts of all styles, and include local recycled/ mix media artists who can really showcase talents and bring attention to our board.
    • I will advocate for the board as a member of the homeschool/ independent school community to include more participants.
  5. Land Trusts
    •  I will spearhead the Land Trust Movement in order to more affectively protect green spaces and wetlands. It’s been the effective mode out West for nearly a century and we actually have a few in the area. It keeps it out of the hand of developers and out of the hands their politicians. This land is our land...and therefore our responsibility.

I want to make the soil and water conservation district more effective by asking all cities and the County commission to allow for a 5 to 10 minute report quarterly at their meetings. Currently that has never been done. So...a sixth...concurrent action