The Fells’ Dog Poo Data Campaign

Call for Field Volunteers

You must have noticed poop in bags (and not in bags) in the Middlesex Fells, right? This is not just a smelly issue or an esthetic problem. Dog waste is an environmental pollutant that contaminates water supplies and is hazardous to both wildlife and humans. Many dog owners dispose properly of their dog’s waste. Quite a few don’t as well, so how do we change that?

Collecting Usable Data to solve the Fells’ Poo Problem

If you’re interested in learning how to clean up the Fells without having to pick up that dog poop that is not your dog’s…  you’re invited to become part of our Sustainable Fells team! As a volunteer, you will learn how to use our phone app to record your observations of poop bags in the Middlesex Fells. To participate, you will take observations by walking a minimum of 1/4 mile on a trail twice a month. 

This year, Earthwise Aware, in partnership with the Friends of the Fells and the Department of Conservation and Recreation, will rely on volunteer sightings/records to provide actionable data to solve the problem. The data will serve several purposes, one use is to help evaluate what sorts of campaign messages and interventions will change people’s behavior so that they protect the forests, wildlife, and waterways from dog waste.

You can help us, and record what you see using The EwA Poop App

Here are a few helpful links:

☝︎ Virtual Training (Video) 📹

More about the data

The data that we record serves multiple purposes. One usage of the data is to evaluate the penetration of dog poop contaminants into the reservation to provide an important data layer to EwA’s Fells Habitat Fragmentation study. In other words: how deep, and wherein the Fells do dogs get (and their scat)? See such usage of the data in the EwA Habitat Fragmentation Report > here. Another usage of the data is to assess the seasonality of the waste problem: can we detect behavioral patterns? And lastly, our plan is to refine the data collection protocol to measure before-after campaign human behavioral changes (soon). 

EwA encourages nature enthusiasts to follow proper field and trail ethics as highligthed in the EwA Wildness Etiquette

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