Here you’ll find FAQs and more to help you make the most of the GLCCN.
If you still haven’t found the answer you’re looking for, contact us.
Profile and Settings
The Great Lakes Clean Communities Network (GLCCN) is an effort led by the Michigan State University Institute of Water Research with the help of many multi-state partners and is supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund. A main goal of the Network is to connect leaders across the Great Lakes with one another to facilitate the innovation and implementation of ideas that will address challenges facing the Great Lakes.
The GLCCN allows you to:
- Easily discover and CONNECT with individuals and organizations working in the Great Lakes
- SHARE your ideas, resources, tools, success and lessons learned with other members
- Search for, add, and rate environmental TOOLS that help you address concerns in your community
- Evaluate, track and be recognized for progress toward your environmental goals using the Network’s ECOSCORE
The Network is intended to connect individuals, organizations, and networks across the entire Great Lakes. This means that if your job or passion involves protecting and restoring the Great Lakes, you’d fit right in. This includes:
- Communities: villages, townships, cities, counties
- Environmental non-profits: watershed organizations, conservation groups, land conservancies
- Educational institutions: universities, schools, placed-based education programs
- Government: local, state and federal agencies
- Private sector: businesses, consulting firms
If you haven’t joined the GLCCN yet, click “Sign Up” here or at the far right of the GLCCN header. From there, you’ll be prompted to create an account.
If you lost your password, click on the “Lost your password?” link from the Login page. You will be prompted to enter your email or username and will be sent instructions on how to reset your password.
No, signing-up and participating is completely free, thanks to support from the Great Lakes Protection Fund.
There are several ways to become more involved in the GLCCN. Consider trying out the following:
- Start a group to discuss an idea or solution to problems facing the Great Lakes
- Talk with your organization about becoming an affiliate of the GLCCN. For more information on partnership opportunities, contact us.
- Be a contributor – share resources and news on the GLCCN.
- Promote the GLCCN within your network – share information about the GLCCN through newsletters, social media and other channels.
- Help your community complete an EcoScore
Profile and Settings
To modify your profile, login and click on “Activity Stream” from navigation menu. You will see several options. Click on the “Profile” tab and click “Edit.” Modify your information using the “User Info,” “Location,” and “Expertise” buttons. You can also adjust privacy settings for your information while editing your profile where it says, “This field can be seen by…” Click on “Change” and select your desired privacy level. Make sure to save your changes.
To add a profile picture, login and click on “Activity Stream” from the navigation menu. Select the “Profile” tab and click on “Change Profile Picture” within the blue header.
To adjust your email notifications, login and select “Activity Stream” from the navigation menu. Go to the “Settings” tab and select “Email” from the blue header. You will be presented with a number of options to opt-out of email notifications. Select your desired changes and save.
To adjust your privacy settings, login and select “Activity Stream” from the navigation menu. Go to the “Settings” tab and select “Privacy” from the blue header. You will be presented with a number of options to adjust privacy settings. Select your desired changes and save?
There are a couple ways to connect with other users on the GLCCN. Both methods, described below, are accessible from the Connect page.
Network Map and Directory
You can find potential connections via the Network Map and Directory. Use the search bar to find connections, browse the map, and/or filter by areas of interest and expertise. Once you’ve found a potential connection, click on their map pin, view their profile and add them as a friend. You are also able to directly add connections from the directory, located beneath the map.
You can also connect with users via Groups. Through Groups, you can discuss ideas, issues and solutions to problems facing your communities or the Great Lakes. You can create your own groups, join an existing group and invite other users.
To view your connections, go to “Activity Stream” and access the “Friends” tab. This will list all of your connections. You may also see connections when viewing the Network Map and Directory.
To add a connection, click on the “Add Friend” button:
- On the Network Map and Directory
- After searching for a connection
- From a user’s profile
To remove a connection, click on the “Cancel Connection” button:
- On the “Friends” tab of your profile
- On the Network Map and Directory
- After searching for a connection
- From a user’s profile
On the Network Map and Directoy page, click the “Hide/Show Advanced Search Options” button above the top right corner of the map. From there, select the applicable areas of interest/expertise.
The GLCCN makes it easy to share resources and news with other members. Currently, you can share tools or calculators, case studies, featured stories and events. To share one of these resources, go to the Share page, and select the appropriate action for what you’d like to share.
If you find that you made a mistake when you shared a tool or story, no problem. Contact us and we’ll work with you to update the submission.
The GLCCN Tools Directory already has all kinds of tools in it, ranging from mapping applications, models, calculators, fundraising tools, crowdsourcing tools, checklists, workbooks, and case studies. Any of these kinds of tools would be a great fit for the GLCCN.
You must be logged in to share a tool. Once you are logged in, go to Share > Tools or Calculator. This will open a submission form, asking for a title, description, URL, and keywords related to the tool. The tool will be reviewed by GLCCN admins before being posted publicly.
Yes, you may share a tool that is not owned by your organization. If you have used a tool that you think others will find useful, please share it. That said, proprietary information or tools should not be shared. If you are unsure as to whether or not a tool is proprietary, seek permission from the developer.
Tools are reviewed by GLCCN admins before they are posted publicly. Once posted, users are able to comment and rate tools.
You must be logged in to rate a tool. Once you have found a tool you would like to rate in the Tools Directory, scroll down to the bottom of the page. You will see four categories: Ease of Use, Expense, Support and Performance. See descriptions of these categories below. Select a star rating for each of these categories. There’s also a comment section where you can provide more detailed comments about the tool. Your review will be publicly visible once GLCCN admins approve it.
- Ease of Use – Is the tool easy to navigate and use?
- Expense – Is the tool free to use? If it’s not, is the value of the tool worth the price?
- Support – Does the tool have help documents or other support resources? Are they easy to find and understand?
- Performance – Does the tool perform well? Do the results from the tool seem reasonable?
The EcoScore is a freely available tool offered to users of the GLCCN. The overall goal of the EcoScore is to give Great Lakes communities and watershed planning bodies the ability to describe and measure their ecological health based on a series of questions about 12 water and land indicators. Participating members establish a baseline ecological health score, identify areas for improvement, and then track ecological improvements and progress toward science-based goals over time by completing annual Eco-Evaluations. The current version of the EcoScore focuses on establishing a sound foundation on which to drive ecological improvements in the Great Lakes Basin. The evaluation centers around a community’s specific planning, programming, monitoring and implementation activities. Future versions of the EcoScore will include additional sub-indicators related to ecological outcomes.
Initial scoping to determine which ecological indicators would be most relevant to Great Lakes communities included a literature review, an assessment of over 40 scorecards, and a series of meetings with pilot communities and regional planning entities to gain feedback through the development process.
Your EcoScore results are confidential. No other user can see them. However, you may choose to share them publicly at your own discretion. The GLCCN EcoScore Media Kit was developed to help users interested in publicizing and explaining their results.
Are there any resources to help my community participate in the EcoScore process?
Yes. We have developed an introductory EcoScore workbook (download here) which details the EcoScore process and provides additional guidance and tools.
There are 12 points possible for each of the 12 EcoScore indicators. Each indicator is scored based upon plans, programs, monitoring, and results. Two points are available for the following categories: plans, programs and monitoring, and the results category is worth six points. There are a total of 144 points possible unless one or more indicators is marked as “not applicable.” The total points possible will automatically be adjusted to exclude “not applicable” indicators from your EcoScore. The EcoScore is designed as an all-or-nothing scoring system. In other words, no partial points are awarded for any given question. An answer that is left blank will result in a score of zero for that particular question.
Your organization may not collect all of the data needed to complete an Eco-evaluation. The EcoScore is not just a scorecard, but a process. A key component of this process is working with others in your community to gather all the needed data. Initial users of the Scorecard have found the process to be very enlightening as they reached out to others in their community. Consult the EcoScore workbook for common places where EcoScore information may be housed. If you find that your community does not collect any information for a particular question, leave it blank.
An Eco-evaluation can be completed at your own pace. Any answers that you save will be available at any time. Furthermore, you do not need to fill out the evaluation sequentially (i.e., you can jump between different indicators – just remember to save your answers). It is recommended that you download the EcoScore workbook to gather your information and then input all of it into the system at once.
We want to make the EcoScore process flexible for the variety of communities and organizations that are using it to track and improve their community’s ecological health. We recommend that you complete it at least once per year, but it’s okay to update your score more or less frequently. Perhaps it works well for your community to update it after the launch of a new program or around the same time you’re pulling together other reports. Do what works best for you.
The EcoScore comes with a built-in reporting function. You can access your report from the Dashboard by clicking on the “Print Report” button in the top left corner of the EcoScore header or by clicking on “View Report” when you have completed your Eco-Evaluation. The system will generate a printable report that details information about your results and includes the same charts discussed above.
The report is customizable so that you may input your own community information. The “Add Your Title Here” and “Add Your Community Here” are editable sections. Click within these areas to enter your own customized information. Save the report as a PDF and/or print it from your browser. If images are not displayed when you go to print, view your browser’s print options and check the box to print background images or graphics.
You can jumpstart your next Eco-Evaluation by using the EcoScore’s “Import” feature. When are ready to begin your next Eco-Evaluation, select “Create New Evaluation.” You will be presented with the Eco-Evaluation setup menu. Before entering any information on this page, select “Import Data from Previous Evaluation” at the top of the EcoScore window. A blue popup window will appear with past Eco-Evaluations. Select the most recent Eco-Evaluation your community has completed. A green box will appear indicating that the Eco-Evaluation was successfully copied. This will be an exact copy of your previous evaluation. Start by updating your setup information (e.g., title of evaluation) and then move through the questionnaire, updating answers as appropriate. Remember to select “Next and Save” to save your work.
Communities receiving 100% of the total points possible for their EcoScore are eligible for special recognition as a “Great Lakes Clean Community.” Find out more information here.
How can my community become eligible for the GLCCN Community Partnership Program?
Communities that have completed an Eco-Evaluation are eligible to participate in the GLCCN Community Partnership Program that supports practices that can improve water quality in your local watershed (e.g., green infrastructure or low impact development practices). More information about this program is available on the Designation page.
No, you are not. Participating in the EcoScore process is completely voluntary.