Overview of McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and our Request for Proposal
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve was established by the City of Scottsdale in 1995. Currently, 16,000 acres are preserved while another 20,000 acres remain within the recommended boundary that voters approved for inclusion within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. When complete, the Preserve will total more than 36,000 acres (roughly 57 sq mi) of permanently protected desert.
MSC has more than 380 volunteers, called Stewards, who give more than 18,000 hours of service a year to the Preserve. Currently, stewards serve by patrolling the 27 different trail segments in the preserve, and reporting back to MSC and City of Scottsdale leaders, describing to both audiences the physical conditions of each trail segment, and any law enforcement issues (such as vandalism, parking lot thefts, and evidence of off-road vehicle activity).
Accurate service-hour tracking is an MSC internal audit requirement, as well as a primary measure of MSC’s community contributions. Stewards develop and present educational programs, perform outreach, lead recreational hikes, and build and maintain preserve structures. MSC needs a database that enables MSC leadership to search for specific skill sets, certifications, and experience levels available within the MSC volunteer community.
Therefore, the three primary requirements of a Phase I database management system required by MSC are:
• Maintaining volunteer profiles
• Tracking service hours
• Monitoring the preserve’s conditions
MSC is seeking custom database development because most turnkey volunteer management software places “volunteer scheduling” at the heart of the product. Event scheduling will become a useful component of MSC’s database management system in Phase II, but it is not considered a Phase I requirement.
MCS is seeking time and cost estimates of work to develop a database management system that provides for web-based storage and retrieval of the following information:
• Characteristics of MSC volunteers
• Service hours reported by MSC volunteers
• Physical conditions of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve trail segments
All steward-ranked volunteers will have access to MSC’s password-protected “steward side” of the website. Steward leaders will have access to limited report-generation from both the preserve conditions database and the volunteer profile database. System administration will rest with the MSC program manager.
Senario of Volunteer Use
Imagine Scottsdale resident, Nidhi Goel, who heard at work that a new trailhead has just opened in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Nidhi wants to plan a hike so she goes to the website for more information.
Nidhi goes to [url removed, login to view] and reads about the volunteer program. She requests information and completes a volunteer “application” form indicating her areas of interest. This web-based form starts Nidhi’s first foray into the database storage system and creates her record.
Nidhi receives information and signs up for MSC’s Steward training program. After she completes training, Nidhi receives access to the Steward Login side of the MSC website. She also receives an assignment to one of the 10 “access areas” where stewards patrol, although all stewards, including Nidhi, are able to patrol any trail in the preserve.
In her first week as a steward, Nidhi decides to spend 3 hours volunteering in the office and completes a long patrol starting at the Gateway Access Area. She starts on the north Gateway Loop, then takes Windgate Pass to Bell Pass, and then back on the south Gateway Loop. During her patrol she notices water damage on the Windgate segment, and ran into a dog off-leash on the south Gateway Loop segment. She also saw 2 mountainbikers on Bell Pass trail.
At the end of the week, Nidhi logs into the Steward side of the MSC website and clicks on “Trail Report.” She enters all the information from her patrol, then clicks on Service Hours and enters her 3 hours at the office and 6 hours patrolling. While she is right there, she also wants to update her profile with a new photo that her son Rajnesh took.
Because she has made a bet with her friend over who can log the most hours, Nidhi requests a printable copy of her service hour entry, and views the “cumulative service hours” field on her record to make sure everything registered correctly. She thinks about making a copy of her patrol reporting as well, but decides that since nothing was too critical, she won’t this time.
Development Requirements Contained in the Senario
Web-based access for all functions.
All reporting functions can be accessed over the web, during a single log-in session, without duplicating efforts.
Data entry is highly intuitive. Nidhi might “click” on the trail segment that she is reporting on (see [url removed, login to view], tab 2 (About Preserve) , top menu item: “Interactive Map”, or she might “click” checkboxes on a branch diagram that lists all possible trails from the particular access area. Nidhi might “click” on a calendar to indicate date and time (am or pm) in her service-hours data entry, or she might simply complete clearly defined fields.
Detailed Specification of Volunteer & Preserve Condition Databases
Both databases should be developed with a Phase II expansion in mind. Phase II will incorporate regular assignment scheduling of volunteers (e.g., to lead weekend hikes and to offer assistance at the trailheads) and additional reports (about participation for the hikes and about usage at the trailheads).
Unique Flags: Donor; Corporation;
DESCRIPTIVE INPUT FIELDS COMPLETED BY VOLUNTEER (Profile Data):
Photograph of Volunteer
Mailing Address Primary
Mailing Address Secondary
Email address Primary
Telephone number (preferred)
Telephone number (cellular)
Emergency Contact Name
Emergency Contact Phone
Volunteer Interests (drop-down box or cluster of check-boxes that describe about 15 possible hobbies/activities, five of which need to be accompanied by a 128-character comment field)
Volunteer Skillset (drop-down box or cluster of check-boxes of about 10 different skills, including “Other,” which is linked to one 256-character “Details” comment field)
Volunteer Recruitment Method or “How did you hear about MSC?” (drop-down box or cluster of check-boxes that describe about 10 possible options, with an additional “Other” that is linked to one 256-character comment field.)
Other Relevant Information: (One 128-character comment field)
SERVICE-HOUR REPORTING COMPLETED BY THE VOLUNTEER:
Day of Activity (Expressed as mm/dd/year)
Start Time (Expressed as am or pm)
Activity Performed (drop-down box or cluster of check-boxes of 30 different service activities, of which 5 of the activities must be accompanied by a 128-character comment field)
INFORMATIONAL ONLY (We need an Activity Definition to be visible to the volunteer during the inputting process. This definition should be a 256-character field that is visible as a mouse-over for each service activity.)
Number of hours (in 0.5 hr increments, per volunteer)
Additional Comments (Expressed as 128-character field)
(For Corporate Stewards only)
If Corporate Workday: Corporate Name (Expressed as 128-character field)
If Corporate Workday: Number of Volunteers (Expressed as 3-digit numeric field)
ACHIEVEMENT-TRACKING FIELDS COMPLETED BY MSC LEADERSHIP:
Participant in Class of (expressed as nn)
“Passport” Completed (Badge/Shirt Issued) (expressed as mm/dd/year)
Completed Educational Milestones (cluster of check-boxes of 25 different educational milestones, each of which is permanently displayed/highlighted if Leadership indicates milestone has been achieved by volunteer; multiple milestones can appear on record)
Name of Volunteer’s Mentor (32-character field)
Patrol Area Assignment (drop-down box or cluster of check-boxes of 10 different patrol assignments, each of which is permanently displayed/highlighted if Leadership indicates volunteer is assigned to that area; multiple assignments can appear on record)
Volunteer’s Certifications (cluster of check-boxes of 10 different certifications, each of which is permanently displayed/highlighted if Leadership indicates milestone has been achieved by volunteer; multiple certifications can appear on record)
PRESERVE CONDITIONS DATABASE
DESCRIPTIVE INPUT FIELDS COMPLETED BY VOLUNTEER (Patrol Data):
Observation Date (expressed as mm/dd/year)
Observation Time (expressed as AM or PM)
Trail Access Area (drop-down list or cluster of checkboxes: 12 options including one option of “Other” linked to a 32-char comment box)
For each Trail Access Area:
Screen displays a representational map of the specific Trail Access Area.
For each Trail Access Area map:
Screen displays a checklist of all Trail Segments associated with that area.
Assume each Trail Access Area has15 associated Trail Segments, plus one “Other” 128-character field
For each Trail Segment, 2 types of data must be recorded:
(a) Physical Trail Condition and (b) Enforcement Issues
Physical Trail Condition (drop-down list or checkboxes)
Trail is fine
Trail problem (256-character comment field opens)
Trail traffic: hikers (3-digit numeric field; default 0)
Trail traffic: mountain bikers (3-digit numeric field; default 0)
Trail traffic: equestrians (3-digit numeric field; default 0)
Enforcement Issues (drop-down list or checkboxes)
No enforcement issues
Off-trail Hikers (256-char field opens)
Dog(s) off-leash (Time: hh:mm) (256-char field opens)
Motorized vehicle activity (Time hh:mm) (256-char field opens)
Visitor confrontation (Time: hh:mm) (256-char field opens)
Vandalism (Time: hh:mm) (256-char field opens)
Other (256-char field opens)
OUTPUT REPORTS AVAILABLE TO USERS WITH ACCESS
The following reports are in addition to standard reporting options; that is, the ability to create reports and seach/define parameters associated with all non-comment fields:
For each volunteer:
1. Accumulated Service Hours of the volunteer, by category
2. Confirmation of data changes/updates made by volunteer
For MSC Leadership granted access to volunteer records:
3. Total accumulated service hours by time period, by category, by flagged volunteers
4. Number of patrols per Trail Segment, over specified time period
5. Physical trail conditions and enforcement issues:
a. by Observation Date/Time,
b. by Trail Access Area/Trail Segment
c. by Physical Condition
d. by Enforcement Issue
6. Last name/first name of the person who submitted the data (pulled from login).
7. On-screen (with print option) recap of input data
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