Calling all Fairfax County Tree Advocates!
Train to be a Fairfax County tree policy advocate with Nature Forward and Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions! As we face the current climate crisis, there are many ways to help heal Mother Earth and create a healthy environment for people and nature. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is the first on that list. At the same time, we also want to reintroduce native trees into our built and suburban environments to reap all the benefits they provide: cleaner air, cooler temperatures, increased biodiversity and reduced stormwater runoff, just to name a few. But we need your help to do it!
With this series of four trainings, you will build the knowledge, and skills, and confidence to talk to decision makers about the value of trees and partner with Nature Forward and Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions as we advocate for stronger environmental tree policies. Once you have completed your training, you will be invited to join meetings with decision makers, advocating for stronger tree-related policies as part of our Fairfax County Canopy Coalition. As a constituent speaking to elected officials, your voice carries more weight!
When you sign up for these trainings you’ll be registered for the following four online workshops (see longer descriptions below):
October 12, 2023 - 7pm - 8pm
The Value of Trees in Addressing the Climate Crisis
The list of benefits that native trees provide is extensive and many of their benefits are components of addressing, or mitigating the effects of, the current climate crisis. But why should decision makers care about trees? In this training, you’ll learn about the array of benefits trees provide and also learn about how to best communicate them when talking with decision makers.Learn to connect with decision makers and frame benefits in ways that resonate with them.
November 9, 2023 - 7pm - 8:30pm
Advocacy 101 (with Citizens Climate Lobby)
Meeting with our elected representatives is a critical tool for persuading them to prioritize actions that benefit our climate and nature more generally. But having a good meeting can be challenging, especially when the elected official doesn't share our views. Our fellow advocates at Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) are no stranger to tough meetings. Over the years, this national, nonpartisan group has developed a reliable recipe for effective meetings, empowering ordinary citizens to build productive relationships with both Republican and Democratic elected officials and their staffs. FACS Advocacy Teams use the CCL model in our effective work educating local legislators about the importance of climate action now. At this workshop, CCL volunteers will walk us through the CCL method for meetings, including important roles to assign before the meeting, key elements to include in your meeting outline, and tips for active listening that leads to a productive, two-way discussion. This will be an interactive session, so please turn on your computer cameras to fully participate.
December 7, 2023 - 7pm - 8:30pm
How to Write Persuasively
Written advocacy is a powerful tool for thoughtfully communicating with our decision makers. Effective, compelling written comments can provide a resource to decision makers and other advocates alike. In this training, you’ll learn about what it takes to craft a well written document aimed at clearly conveying the facts, your perspective, and your asks while also providing context, details, and other information. We’ll take a look at writing comment letters (both formal and less formal) as well as crafting verbal testimony.
January 11, 2024 - 7pm - 8pm
How to Testify in Fairfax County
Writing persuasively is an important skill, especially for conveying facts and data. Testifying in person is a great way to build on written testimony and can often be a place where your stories hold great weight. The best way to get your stories heard is to show up in person and testify at a public hearing. The process does not always feel accessible if you’ve never done it before. This training will demystify public hearings - what are they, who your audience is, how to prepare what you’ll say, how to sign up, where to go and all of the details in between.