25 June 2015

Ubin Day 2015 Report

A total of about 2,000 people volunteered and participated in Ubin Day 2015! Thanks to MOS Desmond Lee, the volunteers of the 34 Organising Groups, the FUN Ambassadors and the awesome team at NParks for making Ubin Day 2015 happen.
The Kampung Photo Booth was a popular spot
to get into the kampung spirit on Ubin Day!
Thanks to feedback and data from the Organising Groups, I did a brief report to help us do a better Ubin Day the next time! Here's some highlights:

The full report with Appendices is available on google docs: http://tinyurl.com/UbinDay2015report

After Action Report on Ubin Day 2015 (13-14 Jun 2015)

Thank you MOS Desmond Lee, for your support for Ubin Day! The Organising Groups were especially touched that you took the time to meet them individually on Saturday and Sunday, joining in their activities and hearing from them about the issues that they are passionate about.
MOS Desmond Lee went kayaking at Ubin Quarrywith OBS and RP;
one of the most popular events on Ubin Day 2015.
He also went sea kayaking, cycling,
walking, birdwatching and much much more!
Photo by Alex Tan on facebook.

Many volunteers said MOS Desmond Lee's thank-you meals were the highlight of their Ubin Day experience!
Volunteers enjoying the thank-you dinner hosted by MOS Desmond Lee
and lovingly prepared by the volunteers of the Eastern fish farms.
Photo by Ria Tan on facebook

Significance of Ubin Day: building community

A total of about 2,000 people volunteered and participated in Ubin Day 2015.
Crowds at the Assembly Area where 15 exhibition booths and activities
were held by Organising Groups.

Ubin Day provides a kampung-style platform for developing a strong community among agencies, groups and people who care about Pulau Ubin.
International Coastal Cleanup Singapore joined forces with
the Civet Awareness Team for a combined NUS Toddycats mega-booth!
Photo by ICCS.
One of the youngest volunteers on Ubin Day
lending a hand at the Sea Shepherd Coastal Cleanup.

This year, 34 Organising Groups participated. Many of these Groups act passionately and constructively for Ubin on key issues, all year round.
SOSD works hard all year round for the dogs on Pulau Ubin.
On Ubin Day, they celebrated 50 Singapore Specials
and held a Kampung Dog Photo Challenge.
Image from SOSD.
And it's really easy to snap shots of the Ubin dogs.
Photo by Ria Tan.
The good folks at Daily Life Renewable Energy provide
sustainable energy to Ubin Town every day. On Ubin Day,
they shared an awesome lamp that works on saltwater.
Ria just had to buy one.
Photo by Donna Daritan.

In the process of conducting celebratory events, groups and agencies work together in a positive atmosphere, establishing trust and goodwill.
Among the favourite activities was making woodcut prints
that assembled into a story about Ubin!
Thanks to The Artist Village!
Photo by Ria Tan.
Dr Lai Chee Kien gives a reprise of his ever popular
talk about Kampung Houses, attended by MOS Desmond Lee.
Photo by Min Lin.
The dedicated guys at GARS
quietly conduct a clinic on sustainable fly fishing.
Photo by Ria Tan.

MOS Desmond Lee's thank-you meals were a key and much appreciated feature of the kampung spirit this Ubin Day.
MOS Desmond Lee (left) with Joseph Wee who created
the special seaweed noodle soup with the Taste of the Sea.
Photo by Ria Tan.
45-60% of volunteers attended the meals.
Volunteers ravenously eating up.
Photo by Ria Tan.
Volunteers working hard outside of Ubin Town were not forgotten.
Min Lin and Mike delivered their thank-you meals.
Thanks to NParks for the transport.
Photo by Ria Tan.
We were most fortunate that the volunteers of the Eastern fish farmers stepped up to create the delicious meals and more importantly, the warm kampung setting of a shared meal after a hard day's work.
This Kampung-style event was organised by Phillip Lim
and the volunteers of the Eastern fish farmers of Pulau Ubin.
They and their volunteers harvested farm produce, and
cooked traditional meals from family recipes.
Photo by Lily Chua on facebook.
Phillip Lim (in blue) organising the sumptious barbecue for volunteers.
Photo by Ria Tan.

We are glad to hear that many Organising Groups are keen to support the next Ubin Day. We believe this is because they were treated with respect and given the support and space to do what they are most passionate about: celebrate Ubin, show others how to appreciate Ubin and make a difference for Ubin issues important to them.

Ubin Day participation

About 1,600 participants attended activities that were open to the public over the two days. This is probably not much different from last year, when about 800 people attended the single-day Ubin Day.
Despite the rain, there were still crowds on Day 2!
Photo by Ria Tan.

Most Organising Groups report that participants greatly enjoyed their activities, and came away with good impressions of the kampung spirit of Ubin, and Ubin’s rich natural and social heritage.
One of the three groups who joined the nature and heritage
cycling tour conducted by Pedal Ubin.
Photo by Joelle Lai. 

The exhibition booths reported 100-200 visitors, about the same number as last year. Also similar to last year, most of the visitors were families, with youths forming the next largest group.

Participants in events outside of the Assembly Area included families with young children, students, young adults and tourists.
Among the favourite activities was birdwatching at Pekan Quarry
By NParks and Ubin Bird Lovers.
Photo by Ian Seah on facebook.

Once again, Ubin Day also appears to be an opportunity for Ubin lovers to bring their friends and family for the first time to Ubin. Returns from various Organising Groups suggest that 10-15% to as much as 50-90% of their participants were first timers to Ubin or were visiting for the first time after a long absence.

About 400 volunteers from 34 Organising Groups took part in Ubin Day 2015. This is two and half times more than last year.
Thanks to Min Lin and the volunteer FUN Ambassadors, for preparing
welcome packs for all 400 volunteers of Ubin Day!

Most Organising Groups who participated last year returned, conducting similar events. Significant new events for Ubin Day 2015 included:
Kampung Games that created energy and buzz at the Exhibition Area!
(by SEDAN, U Volunteers and the Green Beans, SOTA).
Photo by Ria Tan.
Families having fun without electronic devices.
Taking off shoes to sit on the straw mats.
Photo by Ria Tan.
Ubin Jalan ‘Treasure Hunt’ that doubles up as self-guided tour
of Ubin Town so that visitors can learn more about
the heritage and work done by key Ubin agencies
(by Raffles Institution students of the Outdoor Activity Club).
Image by Ubin Jalan team.
Large-scale sea sports at Jelutong Campsite with
a race, free trials and other activities
complete with floating pontoon for safety
(by Adventurepaddlers and Phillip Lim).
Photo by Adventurepaddlers
More evening and night nature walks due to Ubin Day being held on Saturday
(by Nature Society, Cicada Tree Eco Place,
NParks volunteers and Naked Hermit Crabs).
Photo of Chek Jawa tour by the Naked Hermit Crabs
by Shirley Yong on facebook.
Reforestation and tree planting for the public (by NParks) was another new addition this year.

Feedback from Organising Groups

Feedback suggests that Organising Groups support the fundamental principle that Ubin Day should be Ubin Open House. That is, all events registered with Ubin Day should be open to the public, i.e., should not be open only to a selected group of people.

Some volunteers said they liked having Ubin Day over two days as it allowed them to have a more relaxed second day after a hectic first one. And to join other Groups’ events on the second day.
Day 2 was definitely more relaxed!
Photo by Ria Tan.

Thanks to the Organising Groups who provided good feedback, the lessons learnt from Ubin Day 2015 will hopefully improve the next one. Full feedback is detailed in google doc.

Social media outreach

Most Ubin Day activities with registration were ‘sold out’ within days of being advertised on the Ubin Day social media resources. With virtually zero mainstream media pre-advertising of Ubin Day, the turnout is probably mostly the result of Organising Groups advertising within their own circles, sharing through word-of-mouth and the volunteer social media effort.

The Ubin Day facebook page reached more people online than actual participation on the Day itself. The top 5 activities (number of people reached):
5,800: Announcement of Ubin Day 2015
5,500: Ubin Quarry kayaking with OBS and RP
5,400: Stargazing with NUS Astro and Marine Parade Astro
5,000: Kayaking at Sungei Jelutong with NSS Marine Conservation Group
4,600: Learn about coastal fish farming with the Eastern fish farmers
Learning about fish farming was one of the top 5 posts
on the Ubin Day facebook page.
Photo by Johnson Ong.
Fans of the Ubin Day facebook page were mostly young adults (25-34 yrs) (33%) and people with families (35-44 years) (32%). Fans doubled to about 2,000 in about two months.
November Tan with the youngest ever Ubin Day volunteer - Halley -
kept the Ubin Day facebook page alive with real-time updates
on Ubin Day itself. Photo by November Tan.

“The Ubin Way on Ubin Day” 
There is keen interest among some Organising Groups to practice elements of the Ubin Way.
Here's some of the elements of the "Ubin Way"
that Organising Groups agreed
to put into place during Ubin Day.

For example, during the Thank-you meals, most volunteers brought their own utensils.
Volunteers brought their own utensils for the thank-you meals!
Photo by Ria Tan.

There were also a total of 5 cleanup activities on Ubin Day 2015: on sea by kayak and standup paddle board, on the shore at Jelutong Beach and Sensory Trail mangroves and Sungei Durian ponds, and on land.
"As Sea Shepherd Singapore clean the shores, Adventurepaddlers
pick up trash floating on the water. A concerted effort."
Photo and comment by Sea Shepherd Singapore.

Thank you!

Minister Desmond, your support and personal presence on both dates made Ubin Day 2015 special for the volunteers. On behalf of the Organising Groups, we would like to thank you!

We would also like to specially thank Choi Yook Sau, Grace Ang and all staff at Ubin NParks, for their patience and attention to the needs of the Organising Groups and volunteers.

Yours sincerely,

Ria Tan with Lee Min Lin
Ubin Day Coordinators

And here's some unscheduled things that happened to make Ubin Day special...
Kids playing in the longkang!
Photo by Ria Tan.
Awesome art being made on the spot.
Photo by Ria Tan.
Gorgeous sunset on Day 1.
Photo by Ria Tan.

Check out MORE photos shared by kind people about their Ubin Day.

Thank you thank you!

There are many many volunteers that Min Lin and I should thank. Here's photos of just a few of them. Thank you everyone for making Ubin Day 2015 happen!
Volunteers came to help on the Day Before Ubin Day,
to throw stones and other critical tasks.
On the day before the Day Before, Ing Sind came to help us.
In the background, the good folks from Daily Life Renewable Energy
were working hard to make sure we had electricity on Ubin Day.
While elsewhere, lots of work to spruce up the place.
The FUN Ambassadors included families who helped
make props for the Kampung Photo Booth!
Where would we be without Johnson Ong
to take all the important photos?
And of course Min Lin and Mike
for being there always, and Min Huey too!

Did you attend Ubin Day? Do you have feedback about it? Please leave a comment or email me hello@wildsingapore. Help us to make the next Ubin Day better!

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