V​ideo: Pivot in Place: Virtual Outreach and Engagement During a Pandemic

(Helen Dulac Speaks)

I'm a pretty casual conversation and and Judy and I are really going to truly co-hosts. There gonnaa be some slides that I talk about and some slides that Judy will talk about. Sometime she's going to interject some more detail into some of the things I'm talking about and everything like that. So it should be a pretty fun at times as we are the last presentation on a Friday. We all want to make sure that we have fun. So thank you for joining us in our presentation today. We're going to be talking about how to pivot in place it continue your outreach and education, especially on a virtual level and during a pandemic. So a little bit about what we're going to cover today is we're going to do an introduction and we're going to talk about what we've all been just been living through for the past eight months and how we dealt with it. And and hopefully you're going to be able to take some things way and they'll be useful. And also maybe you'll leave feeling a little bit better about the situation that you might be in. So I just want to give you a brief introduction about our department. So we are a part of the city of Dallas, and this department was created in 2004. But back then we were called the Office of Environmental Quality. And in the first four years that we were open, we helped Dallas become the first city in the United States to achieve ISO 14,001. And that is an environmental standard where you look at your processes to see how you can still deliver service without impacting or decreasing your impact on the environment. So this was a huge achievement because we were the first city to do this and we did this across 14 different departments. And so that means we beat out Colorado, and California, and Austin. And then we had a lot of changes happen to our department more recently. And 2018, we had a restructuring of the city and we actually absorb some other environmental operations and programs and we doubled in size and to reflect that change we changed our name.. And that's when we became Dallas environmental quality and sustainability.

And another milestone is on May 27th of this year, the city of Dallas adopted the comprehensive environmental climate action plan that known as the CECAP. Another department spearheaded that. And we actually have a team at our department dedicated to that. And right now they're starting to implementation phase. So that's pretty exciting and it's a roadmap for the next 30 years of how you're going to see Dallas advance it to make the city and the environment cleaner and healthier and safer for everyone. Judy and I are members of the outreach and engagement team and we've been in this kind of field for a long, long time. You heard that I've been I've been with the city for 17 years. I've been doing something like this for most of those years. And so we we've been in the outreach game for a long time. And we end, you know, considering the size of Dallas, we've had our staff is probably larger than most other municipalities. And that means that we could do multiple events on the same day. At the same time. You know, we could send different people to different events. And we also had some funding and by some accounts with a lot of funding, I and so we always had popular giveaway items. So we were the popular kids, whatever the cool kid, we were the groups of when you would go to an event, you would usually be there. We were invited out to a lot of different places. Now, we do have it's not just all like giving stuff away and have a great time. We actually have messages that we have to give out. So we also have, we have the seventh focus areas that were responsible for and this came about in that 2018 reorganization. So basically we do environmental topics from A to Z. And then something else that came along with that reorganization is what we call the stormwater mandates.

So the city of Dallas has some stormwater responsibilities that they that they work on. And one of those is about storm water outreach and education and teaching people about stormwater pollution prevention. And those mandates are, are very, very detailed. We have like a tight guidelines of different things that we have to do, the quantity, the different audiences we reach. And it kinda helps build a foundation of our programs throughout the year. And Judy's gonna talk in more detail about that. Now, we also did some very, very traditional outreach that people are used to. You would see as tabling at events. We would do in-person presentations. And, you know, we also got to attend some really neat special events like different holiday festivals. And also we went to a major events in Dallas, things that we call citywide events, such as the homing Garden show. Now a, We always of course helped out our sister city departments and we would participate events that local recreation centers and libraries and even at places like Love Field. And so this is our team. And this was back in January. So almost a year ago. And we had a new manager. We had Jed, This was at our team retreat. We come up with our new mission statement and we were just on top of the world. You know, we were going to lose the ethically empower Dallas to save their right. And we even in our team is has a lot of outreach experience. And so we actually had created new performance measures to challenge us a little bit, to think differently about how we conducted outreach and how to reach new audience's. Then everything changed. What happened? Oh, you're on mute Judy.

(Judy Schmidt Speaks)

Okay. My off now. Okay. So basically one of the main things happened is of course we've, we've all been working and living with a pandemic. Wave were sent home and that's what happened. Did we just get sent home? We did. We got sent home in the middle of March and it was kind of a phased approach. Some of his continued working toward the end of March, but basically by the end of March, we were all working from home. And next slide please. And so, you know, the pandemic took over our lives and for the next six months of the fiscal year, what are we gonna do? I mean, it was so unprecedented. I know you all probably feel the same way. And we heard all the unbelievable impacts, the fear, unemployment that happened, the economic impacts that were just really frightening. And then as we all know, we're going miles out of our way just to look for the things that we needed in our homes because there was this huge disruption of our supply and demand system and produce and everything else that occurred with it. And then also for us as Helen. So nicely showed it. We were like the golden kids, everything was falling on our lap. Everything was planned. We we're well on our way to have another really successful year. And then through all of this and the closures, we had over 60 events and programs just cancel and everything just we were home. Everything cancel. And what do we do next? Next slide, please. So, you know, we're, we're all in it to get there and we knew that. And so I think it didn't take us very long to just realize that we just needed to get going. One of the things that you have to do in a pandemic is you have to keep going. Because if you stop, then all kinds of consequences that aren't good might occur. Next slide, please. So there was a huge organizational disruption. You know, I want to personally say that I saw people leaving city hall. We have over 11 thousand employees and I saw people living City Hall and they were leaving with their chairs, with their monitors, with their computers, of course, with all kinds of office supplies. Because suddenly we were relegated to working from home and a lot of people just weren't set up that way. So they were all that happened. And then also within all the major departments within the city, there was this huge disruption because the VPN demand, for example, just skyrocketed because people were working from home and wanted to access the servers. And so that whole team in the background was scrambling all kinds of budgetary ramifications and personnel ramifications that occurred. I don't even know about him. I don't want to know about it, but that was kinda ricocheting throughout the entire organization. So there was this massive disruption that was going on and multiply it by the millions and millions of small businesses, medium-sized, large businesses, and households. It was happening everywhere. It was a very unsettling time. And I have to say that, you know, we're all, when you look around, you know, human beings, we're all really good survivalist because we made it through it. We actually made it through something that, and we're not through it yet. We're still in the middle of it. But it was it was something that we've never had to deal with. Not this. I think all of us that are working today haven't had to deal with it. Next slide, please. The really cool thing happened to us. We kept our jobs. And with that, all the expectations that come along with that, we kept that too. And we were really thrilled because there was actually a lot of talk that some of the outreach teams might not have a role right now with all the closures. But because we have the storm water it mandates and some of the other things that go on in our department. It was determined that we were a necessary group and we kept working. So that meant we reflect faced with no matter what, completing a 145 stormwater mandates for this fiscal year now, and some of them had already been done, so hooray for that. But for example. Out of those 60 events at cancelled, you can imagine how many citywide events cancelled because some of you probably had the same experience where on this this this meeting call right now, we have 31 community events that have to be met. Well, how are we going to find that when everything's closed down and nothing's working. We had said in our performance is things like for non storm water topics for each month, for each team member, how are they going to do that? And then, you know, the focus areas. And by the way, we can count CECAP is a really big programming we now count is one of our focus areas. So there's actually eight focus areas, but next slide, please.

So what we do with storm water is it's a great foundation, is a great baseline. I mean, I see it that way because I think that one of the most powerful tools that a team can have is to have major goals that you need to reach. And there's the expectation management level. And not even just at that level, but it goes out into the county, state and the federal level that we'd have these expectations and things we have to meet. So I think it really sets a good tone. And I don't feel like it hampers our creativity. I think they actually do feed our creativity in a way. So, you know, I don't know if any of you ended up going to work like in April or into your offices. But, you know, I given this I took this picture. I mean, there was absolutely no body on Young Street. One day in April when I was going to the office for a meeting. I mean, there was just nothing. So as I've talked about, we've had this major disruption and technology had to be updated. We all had to get facile with it. And then also we had to do a lot of organizational changes. You know, as a team not being able to see each other in the office five days a week. We had to create these work blogs, these clothes out logs, you know, daily staff calls, the weekly team meetings, you know, all these things. But at the same time, we've really lost control. We really had to learn to live with this. You know, there was something bigger than all of us that was impacting our lives and we had to just accept it and move forward. Next slide, please. Helen.

(Helen Speaks)

Yes. Alright, so now I've gotta, gotta get to the meat of it. I'm going to talk about how do you program in a pandemic or at least how we did. And we're hoping that you're going to be able to gain some inspiration and some ideas from this because we, we've already tried and tested them. And so we're hoping to save you a little bit of time and frustration. So what so the expectation, like Judy said, has remained the same. We still had to get our work done. So our work lives hadn't really changed very much after all of this. So how do we meet our goals? We had to get creative or so we thought that we were creative. And and so what we did is we made a catalog for Spring Break and after-school camps. And we looked at our existing activities and different programs that we do for this audience and worked hard. This is a team of three people who worked on this catalog and converted those to be online lessons. And then of course we created some new ones. That would work online. And in of course, we also have to align all of this with our focus areas in our stormwater mandates. And so despite all of our hard work on this catalog, that took I think we did three different versions of it and three people working on it. We actually had some recreation centers line up. We had three recreation centers lined up there, but I work with and all a sudden we were told no, they're not going to have camped after all. And then we were hoping that we could work with that they were going to have these virtual online camps. Then we hope we could get, you know, the a part of that. And it was now that now break the parks and recreation department, they're going to create all of their own programming. So we got our no. And another backbone of our outreach word were Dallas Independent School District career days. This was a wonderful way for us to be able to share messages with a large amount of children in one day. Well, guess what? Teachers had to pivot also, they had to learn how to do all of these online platforms and career days. They weren't really happening very much. We only got like one or two instead of a 22. And then we were also trying to do other virtual programmings.

And they got cancelled also. So despite all of our hard work, all of our planning, we faced one rejection after another. But when you do, you just have to keep calling heat, talking to people and keep creating. Failure is not an option. We have mandates, we have to meet. And so we went from the cool kids that everybody wanted at the party and we had to hustle. We had to sell ourselves. We had the hyper value and bring new things to the table. We had a retool all of our materials and ourselves. So we had to reach pretty deep before the pandemic. Like Judy said, we had the mere planned out then that all change. We were faced with gaps and we had to look at those and figure out how we could overcome them. We had to learn how to operate on all of these different video platforms. But like teams and zoom and now WebEx, we had to learn how to be a team in a new way. We realized we needed more videos. It was also time for us to come into the tick tock age. We also had a lot to overcome, but you just have to, sometimes you just have to jump in. You know, it's like the thing, how do you eat an elephant, right? It's the same thing that we're all facing. And as everybody is moving to online programming, we had to get ourselves out there and we had 0 budget. I think you guys probably all remember all the budget talks. And we even have some furloughs and lead to some reduction in force. So asking for money at a time like this, that wasn't a good strategy. So everything we did with manual, inorganic, we had to make the calls. Judy sent thousands of emails every week. I was scattering and joining all sorts of different Facebook groups and posting to 20 different Facebook group twice a week. But through this, all we, we, we made bold, innovative and we tried to share the joy. And a little bit of inspiration along the way. So there were no summer camps. Well, guess what? That's not a problem. There's no farmers markets versus set up a booth that not a problem. 50th Anniversary of Earth Day was this year, right? But there was no public celebration. That's okay. Because we had our own Earth Day. It was called Earth Day everyday and we call it EDED. This was originally planned as a smart summer program with the Dallas public library. It was going to be in-person at multiple branches. But then of course that all changed and it became a completely virtual lineup. Earth Day everyday was our way to cover our other focus areas. And it started off with our own staff getting presentations very similar to what we used to do. We were mildly successful. And but what this did is it served four way for us to learn how to do online programming and also how to work together as a team remotely. We moved to a more popular DIY format to be kinda like those YouTube craft videos and those cooking videos that get millions of news. Or maybe it worked for them. It can work for us and it can work for you. This is where I gained a huge appreciation for how easy those bloggers make everything look. I started having to use two devices for everything. And I actually had to rig up a ladder to hold one of my iPad's so that I could do some filming aren't very nice segments. I and then I got smart and I bought a microphone stand, live, a iPad lamp. And I could use that to hold my second device. And we, as we did more and more of these sessions with the library, our confidence grew and we went from just like one presenter to two. And then we started adding in multimedia. And then we would start using multiple locations. So I might start my presentation inside. And then we would switch and I'd be outside showing my rain barrels or taking you on a walk through my herb garden. And so it actually became fun. And it was also a way for us to be creative while we were all working from home.

And so our partnership of the public library helped open new doors for us. We were introduced it to another group, the library called the Dallas seed and library. And we were able to create a new program called grow with us that centers around gardening and growing and urban agriculture. These sessions are every Monday at noon and we bring in expert guest speakers. And this was I don't know, it was kind of an easy win because you guys have probably seen all the articles about people who are interested in growing a rise in interest in victory gardens. And so there was already an interest-based in this topic. And so it was easy to tap into it. And so that's something else you can do if you're trying to get your message out there and stuff is to see if your message can fit into a topic that's already popular. And some of the other things that we've also done to help with our programming is we also offer surveys to get some more information and for the grow with a series, if you take the survey, you actually get a little free gift that's mailed to you. And of course, we are always wanting to get feedback and to improve. And so during our presentations and our grow with us presentations, we also had some little polls or feedback. They're actually feedback polls where people can give us a little bit of feedback to help us develop on programming. So once you find something that's successful, you can then use that to help collect those data and the metrics and the numbers that you need to make those goals that you have, you've gotta keep those responsibilities. So we had a partnership, the Dallas Public Library that lead to EDED then that led to grow with us. And then Judy got the bright idea about sometimes is just to ask. So then she asked about, well, what about children's programming? There's a children's library and we have a Slot with that. And you know what, we already created a summer camp catalog. We already had kids programming ready to go. Right. And so this was just as all it took was an ask. And then this has led to our our Earth Kids series. And it has been, it's been really fortunate that we have a team member that specializes in in like young person outreach. And she's been able to take it and run with it. And we just sit back and watch in amazement. So we're actually going to be, we're going to offer some tips earlier and you're going to see that this is going to come back up and that, because sometimes all it takes is an ask. And now I'm going to invite Judy back.

(Judy Speaks)

Alright, well, I'm not sure my video is going to come back. But I think so.

(Helen Speaks)

We can hear you loud and clear thinking about it.

(Judy Continues)

So as Helen was saying, you know, we talked about the scramble, everything that was going on and and the kind of the craft videos and and then we had materials that we had a developing. We realized we didn't really have anything. We needed to sell ourselves the training materials and then we did the do it yourself. The storm water mandates are always in there as our baseline. And then we did the programs and some of the events. So it was kind of this progression. You can look at it either as a flower petal or we're kinda coming around the petals of the flour or even a pyramid where it starts out kind of a little small and it starts growing. So in the next slides that you'll see that through the fact that we did some more research and program development, we were able to expand then from the library program into other programs. In next slide, please, you'll see what that looks like. So, you know, partnerships play such a critical role. And you'll, you'll see more about that. When we get to the tip, you'll hear it again. But they really are what are keeping us going. Because if we didn't have the partnership with the Library, now you'll see we had already done the 31. 11 on the go partnership, which of course is now on hold because of the pandemic. But it was an idea of using that group because they go out any way throughout Dallas to all these different zip codes. And so we joined them at the beginning of our fiscal year. But then we also expanded into corporate programming. And you'll see or to the left, that Southwest Airlines, that organizations has been hit really hard of course, by the pandemic, all the airlines and the people in that industry. But we had a relationship that had formed with them quite some time ago and so I was able to re-establish that relationship. And now we're using our programming that we actually do for Earth Day, every day. And our special guests that speak on that program. And they're, they're going and doing a special program for Southwest Airlines.

So again, this feeds into the numbers for stormwater in some cases depending on the topic and also into our focus area that focus areas that were responsible for. And it just gives us a, a great way to give back to an organization that's really faced with this massive economic downturn that's really battering them. So it's almost like it's a gift in a way to them, for them to be able to take time and break away from the hard work of trying to just survived through the pandemic and think about the environment and some of these topics. So we're real pleased about this program. It's going on to the end of the year. We don't know yet if it'll extended to 2021, but we'll see. And then we also have worked for a long time on multiple people in the team have worked on to try to get a program into a university because we feel like what we do in this department fits well with sustainability, with biology, with the sciences and technology programs. And so we finally were successful with the University of North Texas, the Dallas campus. And we do have a monthly program with them as well. And again, what we try to do is we actually are working with those sustainable business class. And we know what their curriculum is for this year and we tried to link our topics to that. So we're, we're really excited about it as well. And right now it's going on to the end of this year. Next slide, please. And then with Trinity Park Conservancy. I've worked for Trinity Watershed Management for ten years and worked with this group that entire time. And so it was a natural just to ask them if they wanted to partner with us and they have they partnered with us on Earth Day, every day on even with Southwest Airline presentation that they've done in conjunction with the love of the lake. So we're able to not just partner with individual groups, but then bring other partnerships to those groups as well. And I think that's part of the success formula. They have a corporate Day of Service. And because of all, the do-it-yourself videos that Helen had done, she was able to pitch that we would be including their corporate Day of Service, which was totally in a virtual event this year, of course. And we were asked to be included in it.

So also with Dallas College, El Centro, they are using Earth day every day for some of their student training and some of their programs. And we're very proud of that and hope to grow it. And then we have prerecorded, we kinda have some interesting programs that have spawned from all of this. And one of them is just so interesting. It was a prerecorded programming that we've done with both the Dallas County master gardeners and Dallas Vegfest. Just to take a minute about Dallas Master Gardeners. There. They had a in September, they had a meeting of club meeting and it was prerecorded. And then within that was presentation called how water connects US from us. That was prerecorded, that was embedded into that. And it has had hundreds of views on YouTube. So we're really proud of it. It's interesting. I keep saying if we could find 20 more of those, that would be really great. They would really help our numbers. And then VegFest was also something we were really proud to be part of a given issuer because we've been there on-site for the past couple of years. So it was just to me, it's a successful story to be able to move it from on the site where they did the onsite program and switched to virtual and we were able to participate because of the work that had been done. So if you think about the pyramid, how we started out just with a little craft videos and if we have time, Helen is going to show you one of them later in the session and how this is now just advancing. And we hope to continue growing and everything. So Next slide please. And here's the shocker. No budget. So we haven't had a budget. There's endless users is the way we see it. And we feel like there's been really a 100% success. So we're really excited. And then also kind of, I guess I'll mentioned the stormwater mandates again. We actually were able to reach all of them except 15 so we are really very proud of the effort of the team. And I'll give it back to Helen.

(Helen Speaks)

Thank you. Alright. Thank you, Judy. Alright, so now we're going to move into some of our survival tips. So these are things that we experience. This is almost kind of like a summary of some of the things that we've just been talking about. And maybe a couple of little added things in there that we hope will be very valuable for you. So these are the chips that have worked for us. And the first one is, don't stop everything. You can pause, but don't stop. But if you do, you could get left behind and then you have to fight even harder to be seen or heard. Though like now, all of these different programs are online or on YouTube that you can stream your stuff live on YouTube. They can be on zoom and YouTube at the same time. So you can go to YouTube. And I, I was watching programs I in other, in other states.

Alright, so it's about, so now there's aria library built up. So if you wait too long, it's gonna be harder for people to find your book in that library. Now get started with the next. Remember the what and the why. What, what do you need to do and why. At this can help you focus, and it also can help motivate you. It's like reflecting back on your core values. And which could also, which I can't be very inspiring. And you gotta remember that you're going to have a lot of things to do. So like we were talking about, like with no budget, all the marketing and promotions. I have been manual inorganic. Those thousands of emails that were sent out, posting on on, you know, numerous Facebook pages over and over again. So you'd need to stay organized and you need the delegate. So you need to take advantage of the hidden talents on the team. And that's something else you're gonna find out about is when you start doing more online programming, you're gonna find that you're going to have all sorts of talent that comes out. And also when you're working from home, you need to make sure that you still report back in. I you need to stay connected so you can stay efficient. And sometimes it can be pretty hard because you might be out there focused on creating this program or filming a video. It might take several days or something like that. And you realize that you've been kind of working in a bubble and you need to remember to stay connected to your team. And just like back when we were doing traditional and reach, one of the best ways to get your message out there was to go to where the people are. Well, that's the same thing is true here and they're online. And so for many of us, we also have a lot of measures that we have to meet and we especially have to do that. We also have a lot of reports that we always have to provide data for. So one of the things that Judy created was a rolling annual plan. So it's this giant spreadsheet where we heat, where we can track all of our events, who work them, and all the stats that we need for our metrics and our reports. It also holds a lot of different information in that, but that's a good tip to get yourself organized, is to create some sort of tracking document where you can have everything in one place and also utilize existing programs to build new ones.

It can be tough. And also it can be really tough when you don't have the technology or the stuff you need to do your job. But honestly do your best stuff. Figure it out. If because if we waited to get all of the stuff that we wanted or needed, we'd still be waiting. And so one way to remove barriers is to work with other departments in large organizations that Judy talked about the Trinity Park Conservancy. That was a relationship she had for years and years. And all it took was, you know, a couple of phone calls and a couple of emails. And I think you're gonna find that when you reach out to some people, they're gonna be struggling just like you are. And so you're kind of offering them a lifeline. When you offer them a partnership. And you're going to think, I think you're gonna hear guests a lot more than you're no. And then also when you have these, when you reach out to these different potential partners, you want to also see how you can maximize your connections or the different things you're responsible for us at the straining, development and marketing. And it may not seem like a good time to reach new audiences. But it actually is. Because right now your message can go a lot further in a lot wider with all of the online programs and also with the streaming services and with social media. One of the things I do is I do, I post on a green dot with social media. And I can see like when our users are active and it used to be kind of like a spike pattern or actually kind of like we have activity in the morning, it would level off during work hours and then it's spike at night, right? Well, guess what? Now it's like this, her dislike plateau where people are active from 07:00 AM to 11:00 PM. So there are a lot of people spending a lot more time on social media.

And so this is the time to take advantage of it and reach a new audience. And it's a different time. And so you will have to do different things. And fear is what are the things that you might have to overcome. But just remember, anybody can be a star or a director or a producer. Judy was talking about the videos. And sometimes you just have to kind of go out there and do it. And then you're going to learn from each experience and you're going to find out better ways. And of course, you know, YouTube is the largest search engine, are the second largest search engine behind Google. There are so many videos out there of people who are willing to help you. So there's free resources everywhere. So, you know, take a little bit of time and jump into that rabbit hole for just a little bit. And you're going to learn a lot of information. And this is another time where you're gonna find that talent on your team. So an example of that is you remember when the law enforcement when all the police officers were doing all those lip-sync videos and they hadn't. Lip-sync challenges. Will all of a sudden you saw this, these, these singing and lip-synching and dancing law enforcement officers. And what a thought about that, right? But they were able to find all of this talent within their police forces. And you actually might find something similar to that in your organization. And also don't be afraid to go big. And so one way that we went big was with our earth day everyday series. Judy decided she wanted to have a national organization represented on our program. So she called up the Ocean Conservancy and guess what? They said, yes. And they had two presenters are one of our programs. And they're actually going to come back and do a presentation for one of our corporate sponsors. So again, like I said, there are, these organizations are struggling also. And so when you offer a way for them to be heard, they're gonna jump on it. And it's like looking for those co-benefits. And it also like what Judy was talking about, how we've been able to have some of our partners present multiple times. So we had the Dallas Marshall's office, they gave a presentation on Earth Day everyday about illegal dumping.

Well, they were able to repeat that presentation for Southwest Airlines. And so for them, that's a benefit. They've already created the presentation and I just have to deliver it again. But we did most of the work. We've found the audience we're on that would set up the time. All they had to do was hit that button on the computer and show up at the meeting. And so those type of co-benefits are gonna take you a long way. And don't be afraid to be appropriately bold. So you want to be bold, but you also want to be smart. So you can think of it like being business bold. For example. If you haven't talked to somebody in a year, don't be afraid to call them. Don't be. So don't because probably recall him to see how they're doing. And you start talking about some, maybe ideas are possible partnerships. Like I said, you're actually helping them out and you're in, you might be offering them a lifeline. And don't be afraid of new ideas and concepts. So some of the things that work in the past aren't going to work right now. We kind of experienced that in some of our earlier online sessions. It, we thought that we could kinda just repeat like a presentation or something like that we did in the past. Well, you know, with all of the advances with online programming and also with the younger audience that expects a little bit more. Your same old, same old isn't going to work, you know? So you do have to try some of these new ideas and concepts.

Has, like I said, it's the tick tock age right now. And also something else to think about is what resonated with people has changed. So if you can kind of tap into that, you're gonna find a lot of success, like I mentioned with our grow with us series, that there is already a huge interest in gardening. And, you know, people want a, like when Judy mentioned that our supply chains are disrupted and people who had a huge interest in growing foods so they all we've had what they wanted to eat. And so if you can kind of figure out that kind of thing and plug into that, you'll have a lot of success to get your message out there. And don't be afraid to hear no. And a lot of us might have a lot of experience with that. And so, but don't be afraid of it. And if you hear it, you just have to shake it off and keep on going. Alright, so now we're going to talk about, so we've got hopefully kinda, kinda told you a little bit of a story about what we've gone through in the last eight months. And we're going to share with you a little bit about kind of how it's culminated in what it's come to. And we are going to tomorrow, as a matter of fact, have the 26th water wise landscape tour and seminar. And so, you know, just when we thought that we could take a breath, this when we thought we could rest, we couldn't we had to pivot again. We had to figure out a way to take a 26-year-old program and they get virtual. So we had to take something that was spread across Dallas, then involved probably about 20 staff members and lasted half a day and fit it into a 2.5 hour online production. And so this production is going to feature numerous videos. It is going to have some life feed. It's gotta have special presentations. We're going to have guest speakers. We even have that landscape contests and we have lightening panels. So the goal that we were given with is that we wanted, they wanted this to keep the tradition and the feel, but deliver it in a completely different way. And also to try to reach a broader audience. And so you want to find out if we did it, we want to invite you to come and be a part and join us in the water wise seminar. But you just have to go to save Dallas water.com to find to find some more information about it, and to register. Hi Rebecca.

It's my ten minute warning. Alright.

(Rebecca McDowell Speaks)

I got a little bit less I gave you a little bit more time.

(Helen Continues)

Okay. No worries because I only got two slides left, so I think this is gonna work out perfectly. And so on this water wise seminar, this is going to be our second time use WebEx. This right now is my first time to use WebEx and we will be using WebEx tomorrow. So that goes back into that continuous learning you're going to have to do on all of this new technology. Alright, so remember save Dallas water tomorrow at 10:30 AM. Alright. And so we were talking about our different programs that we have with the Dallas Public Library. We have the grow with us Series is every Monday at noon and this coming Monday. That is a couple of days before Veterans Day. So we're actually going to feature a veteran owned business called Veterans produce. And this gentlemen teaches veterans about hydroponics with aquaponics gardening. And he has a greenhouse and he's going to give us the basics of hydro and aquaponics. And he's also going to tour us around as greenhouse. And I also want to thank him, of course, for his service. After every Thursday at noon, we have the earth everyday series. This upcoming one is about the Trinity River Audubon Center and a dogwood canyon and about how their trails are open and a great resource to use to get outside. destress a little bit and enjoy the fantastic weather we've been having. And in our earth kids is also about trail. And so one of the efficiency things we've done that helps us administratively and with our tracking and reporting is we tried to sync or line up our Earth Day everyday in our in our kids program. They also happen on the same day. They're both on Thursday and even sometimes were able to get the same presenter. So that's another code benefit. If you bring in something to present in one program and they can present a two, that is giving them more bang for their zero buck because they all volunteer to do this work. All right, and so with that, we are going to conclude our presentation. And a Judy and my contact information is there we welcome any sort of questions or e-mails. And of course, our website is green Dallas.net. And you can follow us on Facebook. We are green Dallas, TX Facebook in we are at Green Dallas on Twitter and Instagram. Alright, so do we have any questions?

(Rebecca Speaks)

Right now? I'm not seeing any come through, but if any of you participants would like to go ahead and you didn't have anything. Let's see. I'm just going to comment out loud if you don't mind. Patty, I'm going to I'm bringing to the forefront here. And you said, great second half of the presentation. Thanks for the invitation. to attend the water wise tour your your presentation went really well today, ladies, I even took away so much not only to learn about what you guys provide for Dallas as well, but even in my own professional development world of training and programs, just listening and hearing some insightful information. So definitely can walk away with some learning points from that. So, so thank you, Patty, for your your question so far. I don't see anything yet, but please feel free. If there's anything you would like to share. That list would be a great time. To bring your questionnaire and we'll make sure that the prisoners get your questions. So thank you guys for participating today.

(Helen Speaks)

Yes, we have been, Rebecca I sent you a couple of links for YouTube videos. Do you think you could share those with everybody in the chat place? Okay. Did you send it to me in email that no, I sent it to you in the private chat. Okay. Sorry. Let me go back where h No, no worries. So Judy had mention some of our videos. So I have a couple of samples. So I have one of our early, early videos that I made in my backyard with my ladder rig to set i, if you guys have ever seen Alton Brown and his latter thing is, is to fry turkeys. That's my inspiration for that. And so you, sometimes innovation, you know, like they say, necessity is the mother of invention. That was my pace for that. But then, you know, like I said, I got smart and I bought a microphone stand. So instead of having to carry my 40 pound ladder out, I will have to carry my 40 ounce microphone stands. And then there's also another video that I actually made before the pandemic that actually features my neighbors in it and also my husband. So when we talked about anybody can be a star and it might be a reluctant start, especially if you give them apart, but they don't have to speak. There are a little bit more likely to say yes. And so sometimes you just have to be a little bit more creative at your there scripting or your production. And what is not actually a 100% complete yet, I still kind of wanted to show you how I, you know, sometimes it doesn't have to be a 100% polished. Of course you want it to be accurate and you don't want it to be good. But, you know, I said sometimes you just gotta kinda get to get yourself out there. Okay. So everyone I could not sit it, of course, in the Q and A part of but if you can check your chat feature, I did include both the links that Helen sent at the pollinator per video and then the storm drains one.

(Rebecca Speaks)

So you can go to your chat feature and pull up those links. If you guys wanted to utilize the Q and A for any other questions. This was a great presentation. And Helen and Judy, you're so well versed in this field and just appreciate your knowledge and expertise today. And it was really an amazing presentation. And I'm, I'm thinking the presenter or the participants can agree with me on that part as well, so we appreciate Revenue. Frank, peer-assessment. Thank you so much. Yeah. Yeah. You guys will stick around. So if there's anybody that, you know, you're free to go now, but if you don't have any additional questions, but if you do have something that you do want to stay on, continued to use the Q and A button. And you know, and then you can also contact either Lori de la Cruz if you have any additional questions outside of the presentation today and should be able to maybe get Helen and duties of input if there's any additional questions related to the presentation today. And I'm just going to add my email there to share with everybody. You've got that very heavy questions or want to maybe have a Future partnership. They maybe he can plug into one of our program. And to see how we can also help each other. And then also of course, my last plug for the water wise landscape tour. I put the save Dallas water website in there so everybody can go. It is like I mentioned on the WebEx platform, it is free. I, and it's going to be really neat. And I think there's going to be fun for all ages there. One other one interesting, we're gonna actually have to wear. I'm several presentations that my two favorites are we're going to have Rusty Allen for North Haven Gardens and North Haven Garden, who's one of the places that was destroyed by a tornado last year. And they have rebuilt and they have reopened. And he is going to be presenting the hottest landscape trends for 2021. And so that's a really, really good presentation. He's actually gonna do it live in the greenhouse at North Haven gardens. So he's going to be able to show you the implant them different cultivars. And I am looking forward to that one too. And then during our lunch segment, starting at about noon, we're going to have Suzana Cruz from Chicana in Nature. And she is going to talk about backyard origin. And he's gonna talk about common plants that you might already have in your landscape or that you can easily add your landscape that are also edible. So for example, perks cap, end, even roses they, they produce like a berry or a hip at the end of the growing season. And a lot of those are eligible. You can actually eat those Turk cap, the hips, very balsamic jelly out of them. And so sounds like some people might have experienced in some of these steps at these different things. And so she's going to be sharing a lot of different things, a lot of plants, I have edible leaves. But it also can be made to attitude, can be made into tea. And one of the things I recently learned and I'm going to give a spoiler here, is that yoke on. So you'll palm tree. They actually naturally, if you can take the young leaves, and make a tea there's natural caffeine in those, and I think those are the only native plants in Texas that produce caffeine, if I'm not mistaken. So you're going to learn all sorts of cool tidbits like that. So make sure you tune in on our water wise landscape tour tomorrow at 10:30.

(Rebecca Speaks)

Really Interesting, Okay. I didn't see your email. Did you post it in the Yeah. Helen, I know what I might have I might've sent it to one person in particular. Instead of going, you might send it to all attendees. There we go. Yeah. Good thing. I'm learning how to use WebEx now before tomorrow. Yes. Yeah. I also want to thank Dallas College for having us. This was actually my, I'm a long-time attendees of the summit and my first time presenter.

(Rebecca Speaks)

Yes. Thank you. I am in today. Yeah, thank you so much. And this concludes our session today. So if there's anything else you guys are all free to go. If you want to. Stick around for a minute and either use the chat feature or the Q and A will still be here, you know, to help answer any questions, but we appreciate your support and thank you for I know it's Friday. I know it's four o'clock, so we appreciate you sticking around and attending the three o'clock session today, and we appreciate you. So thank you so much. So maybe let me double-check if Looks like we're OK. All right. So I'll go ahead and stop the recording. And there we go.