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!
The Adopt a Storm Drain Team