The primary goal of the Natural Resources Outreach Coalition (NROC) program is to provide education and outreach to communities in the NH Coastal Watersheds that are dealing with the effects of growth, and looking for ways to conserve open spaces and natural resources. Program objectives to meet this goal include: 1. NROC and client communities determine natural resource concerns of the communities. 2. NROC and client communities gather community information about these concerns 3. NROC develops and client communities host community presentations about natural resource-based planning. 4. Communities receive follow up technical and educational assistance as requested. In 2005, NROC worked with three new client communities (New Durham, Wakefield and Deerfield) to achieve the objectives outlined above. All three communities received NROC’s Dealing with Growth educational presentation, customized for each community, followed by a series of follow-up meetings in each community to address issues raised in the presentation and community concerns about growth and natural resources. At the same time, NROC continued to work with three previous NROC communities (Chester, Strafford and Candia). NROC worked with a total of six communities during the funding period. Our experiences with the NROC program led us to the following conclusions: a) All the program objectives were met b) The NROC approach of an initial education presentation for all boards and the public, followed by an intensive program of follow-up assistance over several months, continues to be a very effective strategy for mobilizing and motivating community leaders and volunteers to move forward and take action to protect priority land and water resources. The follow-up assistance and related activities are key to the success of the NROC program in a community. NROC’s revised follow-up assistance procedure, first implemented at the end of 2004, has been very successful, resulting in higher levels of volunteer recruitment and retention. This has also resulted in stronger and more focused follow-up programs developed by the participants c) Providing continued assistance to previous NROC communities has been valuable in helping those communities continue to move forward, and develop a strong and informed base of public support for natural resource-based planning. d) Having funds available for community projects has helped to motivate communities to take action on issues they have prioritized.
Piscataqua Region Estuaries Partnership
New Hampshire Estuaries Project
Mitchell, Frank and Stone, Amanda, "NROC Coordination and Program Delivery" (2005). PREP Reports & Publications. 198.