Schuylkill River Heritage Area

The Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area (SRHA) is managed by the Schuylkill River Greenway Association (SRGA). The region spans 128 miles and 10 counties from Philadelphia to Coal County in Pennsylvania. One of the key features of the region is the Schuylkill River Trail. The trail is comprised of many sections owned and/or managed by eight regional organizations that make up the Trail Council.

A key issue for the SRHA was volunteerism. Each Trail Council member has different circumstances and resources when it comes to having, attracting, keeping, and satisfying volunteers. The SHRA believed that working together to share information, issues and insights would allow for improved volunteerism for all the member organizations.

Iris Creative conducted a Discovery process to understand the state of volunteerism throughout the Trail Council member organizations. The process focused on analyzing the current management of volunteers and identifying gaps in the current approach. Iris Creative’s report additionally provided recommendations for direction and action items for Council members

How Iris Helped

Iris Creative performed Discovery and Analysis in order to present SRHA with insight and options to work together for the improvement of all volunteer programs. Through competitive research among similar organizations nationally, review of existing data, a focus group of members and an online survey of volunteers, Iris was able to identify the issues and opportunities in the Council. Additionally, Iris performed a Communication Audit, reviewing and cataloging the materials available for communication in the twelve regions. The report shared insight on what volunteers thought of their experiences and presented ideas and opportunities for improvement such as:

  • Educate key influencers about the whole trail
  • Develop a group database
  • Start an SRT email newsletter
  • Create a group calendar
  • Improve trail-wide volunteer identification
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