often see the victories won by the Bucket Brigades, but don't see the
hard work and determination that went in behind the scenes to make it
all happen. The most successful Bucket Brigades have a small group of
committed volunteers who work tirelessly to collect data, motivate the
community and demand change.
1. Organize Your Neighbors and Form a Group
amount of work required to run a successful Bucket Brigade is best
suited for a small group of at least five people. You can be a loose
knit group of neighbors or an incorporated nonprofit organization (or
partner with one). If more people want to get involved, great. There is
something for everyone to do to in the Bucket Brigade.
have a group? Chances are if you are worried about the pollution in
your community, you're not alone. We encourage interested individuals
to knock on doors, talk at community meetings, and post to civic
association email lists. Most likely you'll find others who are equally
concerned about the pollution in your area and willing to do something
Given the many communities we serve, GCM cannot take Bucket Brigade requests from individuals.
2. Research Pollution
you aware of the type of pollution being released into your
neighborhood? If not, your group will need to do work to find what kind
of pollution is in your area and the likely sources. GCM has a unique
monitoring tool kit that works for specific types of pollution. We will
need to ensure that the monitoring tools match the pollution type. GCM
staff can work with your group to assist in research and assessment.
3. Plan & Set Goals
your group has established that a Bucket Brigade would be the right
match for your community, GCM staff will work with you to plan for your
project. GCM requests that all incoming projects fill out and sign a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between your group and GCM to give a
clear picture of the community monitoring goals, roles and
responsibilities of the project.
4. Raise Money
need to own access to their data. Bucket Brigade testing is
considerably cheaper than the advanced testing used by many government
agencies, but does require funds. We recommend that projects plan for
an initial budget of at least $7,500. These funds will cover your community's
training costs and initial air sampling. GCM will work out a detailed
budget for your community's specific air sampling needs.
Bucket Brigades have used a wide variety of methods for funding. Some
go door-to-door canvassing for small donations or organize a community
event. Others tap into established community groups, churches, local
city councils or family foundations for small grants. Contact GCM staff
for regional partner foundations.
GCM staff will work with your group to prepare for the Bucket Brigade training.
5. In Person Training As
part of the Bucket Brigade program, GCM staff will come to your
community to tour the industrial issues, conduct an on site hands on
training in monitoring equipment and go over the basics of air pollution
and health. After we have coordinated all our paperwork and raised
funds, GCM will work to get your community Bucket Brigade off the ground
as soon as possible. For some communities this process can take a
matter of weeks, others it can take months.