Director's Chair: Raising the Visibility of the League

Izaak Walton League chapters, divisions, and the national organization share a common goal: raising the visibility of the League at the local, state, and national levels. League members and chapters are doing great work to conserve wildlife, improve water quality, and connect people to the outdoors. Yet most of our neighbors, policymakers, and the press don’t know enough about what we do.

The national organization is working to change this, and we ramped up our efforts this summer and fall.

The Clean Water Challenge provides an opportunity not only to improve and protect water quality but also to raise the League’s profile in communities nationwide. Raising our visibility requires action on multiple fronts, from local outreach to national promotion. Here are a few steps we recently took to help achieve this goal.

Getting Our Feet Wet with the Boy Scouts: Every four years, Boy Scouts and their adult leaders from across the country come together for the National Jamboree. This July, more than 37,000 Scouts, leaders, parents, and other visitors attended the Jamboree – and for the first time, the League was there!

More than 2,500 Scouts visited our exhibit on the Conservation Trail to learn how they can protect and improve water quality. Through hands-on activities and using our Aqua Bugs app, they identified the bugs and other aquatic life that tell us whether or not streams are healthy. Every Scout and adult leader went home with information about the League and how they can  get involved to save streams in their communities. This was an extraordinary opportunity to get the League in front of thousands of people interested in conservation and outdoor recreation.

Taking a Spin with NASCAR: When companies want to get noticed by NASCAR fans, what do they do? Sponsor a car or a truck in one of the national series. While that’s a bit of a stretch for the League (at least this year), we jumped on an opportunity to advertise in the 2017 championship program sold at every track and online during the 10-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. A total of 350,000 programs were printed for sale at the races, and hundreds of thousands more digital programs were downloaded before the end of the championship run.

Our ad introduced the League to hundreds of thousands of NASCAR fans. Many of these fans enjoy hunting, fishing, shooting sports, and other outdoor recreation activities just like we do. And we all share a passion for conserving the natural resources that support great times outdoors.

Listen To This: This fall, we’re focusing nationally with a public service announcement (PSA) radio campaign designed to engage people in the Clean Water Challenge. There are thousands of radio stations across the country, and they need to air PSAs to meet broadcasting requirements. Between October and December, the League is working with a communications firm that specializes in developing and promoting radio PSAs. In a survey this summer, the firm found more than 200 stations interested in conservation-focused content from the League and expects many more stations will respond positively when they hear our PSA.

In just the first five weeks of this campaign, 203 stations radio stations aired our PSAs more than 5,000 times! You can listen to our 60-second PSA on the League website at

The national organization is always looking for opportunities to raise the visibility of the League. Although no single action will make the Izaak Walton League a household name, by pursuing multiple tracks and delivering conservation results on the ground, we’ll take tangible steps toward that goal.

Scott Kovarovics is Executive Director of the Izaak Walton League of America.