December 12, 2018 Blog, Your Stories No Comments

Ask any ACRES member about finding ACRES and their reasons for joining to take responsibility for the land, and you’ll most likely get responses ranging from naming other members, social media, and their own, often exceptional experiences hiking in the preserves. As part of ACRES’ strategic plan to evaluate our work, starting last winter, we began surveying new members in their welcome packet, and this summer, we sent survey requests to current and lapsed members and donors.

If you responded to either of these inquiries, thank you! Your contributions will help us grow.

Both surveys reinforce that our members and ACRES preserves are our top referrals for new participants.

New members’ responses to “What convinced you to join?” inform and inspire:

  • “ACRES’ absolutely vital agenda to preserve land. I decided to invest in what I believe in!”
  • “I’ve enjoyed many hikes the past few years. It’s time to give back.”
  • “Something I believe in: preserving land for future generations to know what Earth used to look like. The need to care for areas here that I love.”
  • “Compassion for the land.”
  • “The love of natural areas, and the desire to see this area…protected forever!”

Current and lapsed members and donors chose these words to describe their personal motivations for participating in ACRES:

Both surveys reinforce that while some learn about ACRES by chancing upon preserves, and becoming curious to explore, many said they discovered and joined ACRES because a friend invited them to, because friends take them on hikes, because friends tell them—in person and on social media—about our work.

This means that when you share a news clipping, a personal story, an event promotion, a Facebook post, a preserve postcard, this publication, you’re offering someone the opportunity to participate in ACRES.

Did you know: many say they’ve read about us and/or hiked in the preserves for years before joining as a member, or participating in an event, or volunteering? It’s as if many people are simply waiting to be asked: will you help? Hikers may not read preserve signs or recognize the land is protected by a local nonprofit. We even hear from people who think ACRES preserves—the places our members and donors help protect—are part of park systems maintained by tax dollars.

You can help ACRES tell our story, clarify how personal participation helps protect land.

When you talk about ACRES with friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, you not only raise awareness of the value of preserving local land, but through your voice, you take action for the land.

Here’s more, from our newest members, on why they joined ACRES:

  • “I love hiking with my grandpa at your preserves. Conservation is one of the more important things we can do, so joining made sense.”
  • “Local, practical land preservation.”
  • “The hikes, the ideals and goals of the organization, my curiosity about a nearby preserve.”
  • “The love of natural areas, the desire to see this area protected by ACRES so it’s protected forever!”
  • “Interested in getting reconnected to the outdoors.”
  • “Grew up on Cedar Creek and want to take care of it.”
  • “Getting ready to retire, will have free time to participate.”
  • “Have been meaning to join for quite a while…kept seeing it on Facebook.”

If you value our work, will you take action for ACRES and donate or join? We encourage you to invite your friends and family to walk in a preserve, to join ACRES, to find ways to more intentionally share your love for ACRES, for the land we protect. Thank you!

Will you give the gift of an ACRES membership this season?

Now through December 31, if you give friends or family or even yourself a $25 gift membership, ACRES will also send your gift recipient a bonus Preserve Guide, a $10 value at no extra cost to you. You can help ACRES grow and introduce your friends to the benefits of protecting land together. To purchase the limited time gift membership offer, use this form. You don’t need to order a Preserve Guide – ACRES will automatically mail this to your recipient.

Want more gift options? Visit our NEW store for ACRES merchandise like our vacuum-sealed bottles and slings that are perfect for trekking the trails, t-shirts, decals and more.