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 show how your friends and family, neighbors and community 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, at a farmer’s market, on a busy sidewalk, at 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 along to make it more fun! (NOTE: Only table where you have permission. Not all venues will allow you to set up a table without permission or having made advance arrangements.)
Materials you’ll need:
1) A table or clipboard: And bring along a sign or sticker to help demonstrate what you are doing, providing people with a quick description of the problem and how they can 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 and spread out 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 will know that public lands in Alaska belong to all of us, and they can play 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 present videos might be evenings or a lunchtime brown-bag event.
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.
Alaska Wilderness League has a PowerPoint presentation with an accompanying script about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that you can use to educate folks (prerecorded version linked here). It is a fun, straightforward way to get the message across.
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
- "The Sacred Place Where Life Begins," A Film by Kristin Gates and Jeremy Là Zelle
- Gwichin Women Speak
- Hearing in DC in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee video
- Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee
- The Porcupine caribou herd's stunning migration
- The Alaska Wilderness League's 12-minute Arctic Refuge video
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 hand-write 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.
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, and hand-written letters are the most powerful, so make sure you have paper and a sample letter ready to go, then remember to 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 your congressional representative.
5) Write a letter to the editor after the event to your local newspaper outlining local support for the issue. 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!