Vision 2020

  Photos by Penny O'Connor

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society

“Vision 2020” for the Rocky River IBA

Rocky River Watershed Stakeholder Meeting

April 28, 2010

 For a pdf of this April 28, 2010 summary click here

I.  Areas of Concentration

 1.  Development – 1

 2.  Land acquisition, Conservation, Restoration – 8

 3.  Education and Stewardship – 4

 4.  Partnerships – 9

 5.  Practices and Policies – 4

 6.  Applied Research – 10

 7.  Marketing the IBA – 10

 (Numbers after each item indicate a vote by participants for that area of focus.)


II.  Development of Top Areas of Interest.

 A.  Land Acquisition, Conservation, Restoration

  1.  Find out what Metroparks, other partners are planning.

  2.  Educate private landowners.

  3.  Track invasives outside of Metroparks.

  4.  Identify the right partners for each function.

  5.  Benchmark West Branch group.

  6.  Actively talk with partner/with municipalities.

  7.  Identify neighborhood groups to talk with.

  8.  Contact individual landowners.

  9.  We should know development plans/issues of communities in the IBA.

10.   Prioritize units within IBA for close attention.

11.  Committees that focus on specific units.

12.  Advocate for Riparian ordinances within the IBA, especially headwaters.

13.  Find out the riparian ordinances that exist right now in the IBA, especially headwaters.

       A.  Determine enforcement.

       B.  How are requests for variances administered?

 B.  Marketing the IBA

   1.  Develop metrics/measures for out marketing/outreach activities.

  2.  Monthly hikes, activities in the IBA.

  3.  Focus on increasing membership in the IBA communities.

  4.  Get to groups, schools, etc. about changes they can get behind.

  5.  Enviro-festival.

  6.  Promote walks, activities in schools.

  7.  Offer Earth Day presentations to schools.

  8.  Develop outreach to neighborhood associations.

  9.  Attend council/trustee meetings and reviews of variances.

10.  Door-to-door canvassing.

11.  Facebook page.

12.  Outreach to churches.

13.  Outreach to science clubs, enviro clubs.

14.  Outreach to colleges – clubs, groups, - Baldwin-Wallace.

15.  Our events in local papers, Mimis.

16.  Develop our “Marketing Case.”

17.  Outreach to other outdoor groups.

18.  Actively support activities of similar groups

19.  Communicate/promote activities/events of partners/similar groups.

20.  Focus monthly meetings on IBA.

21.  Get other groups out for our watershed walk – Ultra Walk.

22.  Production of a video.

 C.  Applied Research

 1.  Assist with/partner with Cleveland park region survey.


November 16, 2009

 For a pdf of this  November 16, 2009 summary report, click here.
 For a pdf of all the flip chart material click here

 For a pdf of all the focus points click here.



The goal is to organize a development plan that will provide for the implementation and continuation of conservation in the Rocky River IBA, and be, in turn, a driver of economic support for eco-tourism and land conservation.  We will know when we have achieved this goal when a centralized source of potential funders exists, a cadre of trained and motivated fund-seekers is in place, and a target of annual revenue with associated target programs has been established.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal are as follows:


1. Form a development committee comprised of people from the other IBA committees.


2.  Recruit a cadre of fund-seekers to train and motivate to raise earned income and seek grants


3.  Coordinate with other IBA committees for target projects and funding requirements.




The goal is to conserve and restore the riparian corridor of the Rocky River IBA, its associated high-quality habitats, and critical headwater catchments.  In addition, this plan will acquire appropriate habitats that will maintain healthy ecosystems and stable bird and wildlife populations in the IBA.  We will know when we have achieved this goal when protected lands of high ecological value are connected along the entire IBA; the area of protection has expanded; invasive species have been removed; and significant restoration of wetlands, meadow, and stream corridors has been completed.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal are as follows:


1.  Develop a land acquisition plan that preserves critical land, identifies willing sellers, and works in partnerships with other agencies.


2.  Develop a conservation and restoration plan that specifies management goals and collects baseline ecological data.




The goal is to foster personal responsibility through awareness of each citizen being a part of the IBA and the Rocky River watershed.  We will know when we have achieved this goal when there are consistent conservation and education programs in the schools, training programs for volunteers are in place, and there are many opportunities for public involvement in IBA programs.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal include:


1.  Ensure that state schools have relevant curriculum.


2.  Neighbor activities for public involvement are in place.




The goal embraces various governmental agencies, community groups, and concerned citizens.  By 2020, all parties interested in the health of the Rocky River IBA will, using their various talents and special interests, be working toward a greater appreciation and awareness of this special ecosystem by the general public.  We will know we are moving toward our goal when the watershed is healthier tomorrow than it is today, and the public embraces and joins our efforts.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal include:


1.  Enlist community organizations and citizens in working toward this goal.


2.  Enlist governmental bodies in working toward the goal.


3.  Conduct outreach efforts to schools, scout groups, and other special groups.




The goal is to involve communities in practices and policies that protect and promote habitat conservation.  We will know when we have reached this goal when regional boards of governance have been set up with their own conservation goals, and state-wide land use planning policies that promote these conservation goals have been established.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal include:


1.  Identify common community goals for riparian setbacks and open space planning and zoning.


2.  Identify complimentary stakeholders with a similar vision who will mutually coordinate goals, objectives, and projects.


3.  Work with counties and the state on actions to implement policies.




By 2020, we will have assessed habitats throughout the IBA by increasing volunteerism to expand our research and monitoring.  We will use the results to inform and persuade decision makers, such as legislators, city planners, and public and private landowners.  We will know when we have reached our goal when this set of data is cited as the determinate factor in wise land use decisions.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal include:


1.  Identify and prioritize habitats to be surveyed.


2.  Hire a person to coordinate volunteers and interface with communities.


3.  Continue the collection of data through bird surveys.


4.  Hire researchers to analyze the data and publish results (such as a graduate student project.


5.  Convert the published results into sellable ideas.


6.  Disseminate the ideas broadly and strategically to target audiences.



By 2020, we will have a marketing plan that identifies who’s in charge, what we do, where our money comes from, and how we communicate.  We will know when we have achieved this goal when a document exists and we routinely follow it.  Measurable objectives to achieve this goal include:


1.  We are recognized nationally as a model IBA.


2.  Everyone who lives and recreates in the IBA knows what it is and why it is important.


3.  We make use of up-to-date technology to communicate with stakeholders.



Brainstorming Vision 2020
Brainstorming Vision 2020

More brainstorming
More brainstorming

Storyboarding at Vision 2020
Storyboarding at Vision 2020

Rick our facilitator
Rick Bohan our Facilitator

Meaningful discussions
Meaningful discussions.

Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society, 4310 Bush Ave, Cleveland, OH 44109