Adopt A Storm Drain Update #4

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #4

Dear Community,

We pressed ‘pause’, took a step back and evaluated our approaches and processes. We weren’t making timely progress and we were determined to understand why. We recognized significant scope creep which deviated from our original proposal. As a result of these honest evaluations, we were able to re-center ourselves and our project around its original value proposition — open source projects can and should be completed within a limited time frame, for free.

We leveraged Lafayette’s technology talent base by connecting with them via Slack (a short form communication platform similar to AOL Instant Messenger, but WAY cooler and more robust). After joining the Acadiana Software Group’s Slack team, we were able to directly connect with tech talent interested in open source community projects, like ours. Interested participants have been able to replicate the original code for “Adopt A” GitHub page. The platform is 80% developed and will be ready for public testing by the end of the first quarter in 2021. If you want to help us with testing the functionality of the platform, like us on Facebook. We’ll be updating our followers on that social media platform.

A major barrier throughout 2020 was obtaining access to data from LCG. We were unable to obtain a full dataset of storm drain locations (due to undefined security concerns from LCG), but we were able to get our hands on location data for two distinct pilot zone areas. Those areas can be viewed on this google map (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=1PY-A3iJqsjyTcXI3bKiAkULxXRjCIOfh&usp=sharing). We hope that, in time, a full dataset will be shared with our team. If other places are able and willing to share this public information, then we believe it can, and should, be publicly available and accessible in Lafayette, LA.

Our 24HCP funding is dedicated to marketing and communications. As such, we’re partnering with University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sales and Marketing students on an Experiential Learning class project where students will develop and execute a marketing plan. They’ll also be responsible for providing a performance evaluation report on how their plan succeeded or failed. Metrics of success will include a 75% adoption rate within the two pilot zone areas, increased social media engagement, and increased public awareness and demand for open data projects across Lafayette.

Thanks,
Katy Dupre
Adopt A Storm Drain Team Leader

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #3

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #3

Dear Community,

Our world has changed…in more ways than one! The past couple of months have been a challenging time for everyone and our project wasn’t spared. Our project is somewhat unique in that we are able to continue working remotely on developing our digital platform. However, being physically disconnected from each other and unable to interact with organizations and citizens has definitely been challenging.

We’ve continued to build out of the platform but have hit a few roadblocks. We’ve brought new volunteers on-board who have more experience with the front end programming language (front end = what users see and interact with). Our developers have been swamped with adjusting to working from home full-time while trying to find the energy, time and motivation to work on a volunteer development project. We’re definitely embracing the idea of “slow and steady wins the race”!

On the community outreach side, we had to cancel our “Expert Workshop” which was planned for early May. The workshop’s purpose was to bring community leaders, drainage experts and neighborhood organizers together to determine which “zones” would be ideal for piloting our project. Unfortunately, those conversations still haven’t happened. In addition to identifying “pilot zones”, we were in the middle of identifying businesses that would be great for the pilot. We have every intention of acquiring that information but we’re still figuring out how to best accomplish that within our new constraints.

A persistent and pressing challenge is that we are working on gaining access to LCG’s storm drain data set. We are reaching out to our city and parish contacts  to gain support for this process, as well as leveraging this project’s champions to continue requesting access to the data. We are requesting giving our team access to the storm drain location dataset and would love to see more open data projects, like this one, develop across Lafayette!

We still have our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DrainDefendersLFT/) and still need folks to fill out the survey (https://forms.gle/7UeishEK5jaF2K2h7) regarding where our pilot program should be. We want to make sure we are prioritizing locations the community is invested in supporting. We are proud of this being an open community project and look forward to including everyone who wishes to be involved on this project.

We are anticipating about 100 hours remaining of development work. We started our front-end development in CSS, HTML, and React. Once it’s appropriate to continue community outreach, we still need help with creating educational materials around storm drain maintenance. If you want to support our educational and marketing efforts (creating material, boots-on-the-ground efforts, or marketing supporting) please email draindefendersLFT@gmail.com with your interests.

As always, we want to emphasize that our core value is transparency. Follow our Trello board (https://trello.com/b/MnlSujIZ/adopt-a-storm-drain-timeline) to see our progress. This is our way of living our truth and being the change we want to see in the world. We hope you follow our progress along the way, or better yet, participate however you want to.

Now, let’s get to work. We have a lot of #DrainDefenders to mobilize and even more #StormDrains that need adopting!

Sincerely,

The Adopt a Storm Drain Team

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #2

Adopt A Storm Drain Update #2

Dear Community,

The past couple of months have been a challenging time for our team. Our team members have faced personal challenges, as we all do, which brought us out of the groove. However, we are excited to share what we have accomplished!

We started the build out of the platform. We have also created our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/DrainDefendersLFT/). Please like it and fill out the survey (https://forms.gle/7UeishEK5jaF2K2h7) regarding where our pilot program should be. We want to make sure we are prioritizing locations the community is invested in supporting. We are proud of this being an open community project. We look forward to including everyone who wishes to be involved on this project.

We have estimated out technical needs, and look forward to inviting your support to help us program, if that’s your cup of tea! We are anticipating about 160 hours of development work. We will also need front-end development in CSS, HTML, and React. For those who don’t code in the above languages, we also need help with creating educational materials around storm drain maintenance. If you want to support our educational and marketing efforts (creating material, boots-on-the-ground efforts, or marketing supporting) please email draindefendersLFT@gmail.com with your interests.

Our current, most pressing challenge is that we are working with LCG to get access to the storm drain data set. We are reaching out to our city and parish council members to gain support for this process, as well as leveraging this project’s champions to continue requesting access to the data. If you want to help, you can contact your council members (find their contact info here: http://bit.ly/lft-council) and let them know you support giving our team access to the storm drain location dataset and would love to see more open data projects, like this one, develop across Lafayette!

As always, we want to emphasize that our core value is transparency. Follow our Trello board (https://trello.com/b/MnlSujIZ/adopt-a-storm-drain-timeline) to see our progress. This is our way of living our truth and being the change we want to see in the world. We hope you follow our progress along the way, or better yet, participate however you want to.

Now, let’s get to work. We have a lot of #DrainDefenders to mobilize and even more #StormDrains that need adopting!

Sincerely,

The Adopt a Storm Drain Team

Adopt A Storm Drain #1

Adopt A Storm Drain #1

Dear Community,

We have been thinking about this project for a while. We started brainstorming ways to impact our community using the “Tech for Good” model way back in May 2019. We are so excited that you have also seen the value of this. We can’t wait to share the fruits of our labor next fall.

Our first step has been to solidify our collaboration with Acadiana Open Channel (AOC) as one of our main partners. Our next couple of months will be setting ourselves up for success by formalizing partnerships, beginning conversations with potential pilot neighborhoods, and building the first version of the application.

Our initial challenges have largely been around mobilizing people during the holidays. We are all focused on being comfortable and full of turkey. Luckily, we were smart enough to plan for road bumps like that, so we are still on track- just not as far ahead as we like to be.

One of our core values is transparency and accountability. Over the course of our project’s lifespan, we will have a public facing project management board so the community can track our progress, engage with our team, and learn about the software development life cycle (Trello- Adopt a Storm Drain https://trello.com/b/MnlSujIZ/adopt-a-storm-drain-timeline). This is our way of living our truth and being the change we want to see in the world. We hope you follow our progress along the way, or better yet, participate however you want to. We look forward to the coming months and hope you do too! Thank you again.

Now, let’s get to work. We have a lot of #DrainDefenders to mobilize and even more #StormDrains that need adopting!

Sincerely,
The Adopt a Storm Drain Team