Wheaton continues to set an example for how communities can successfully address a conflict with nature. Following the adoption of a community coyote policy that was praised by the Humane Society of the United States, the City’s Communications Department has won national praise for its campaign teaching residents how to peacefully coexist with coyotes.
On Sept. 8, 2011, the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) named Wheaton a winner of the Award of Excellence in the Marketing and Tools: Community Issue category in its annual Savvy Competition.
Wheaton’s “Coexisting with Coyotes” campaign consisted of the City’s Coyote Policy packet, an educational brochure, postcards sent to areas with high numbers of coyote sightings, street signs for areas in which an incident is reported, informational videos, newsletter articles, press releases and a new section on the City’s website.
“The primary goal in this project was to help residents understand why they are seeing more coyotes in populated areas and how they should react,” said Communications Manager Gary White. “Coyotes are not going away – nor are they something we should fear. It just takes some understanding and cooperation on the community’s part to learn: 1) not to provide food sources that are attracting coyotes, and 2) how to scare away coyotes to teach them where they are not welcome.”
Savvy Competition judges complimented Wheaton for educating residents with “factual research presented in a stylish, easy-to-read manor,” with “excellent marketing tools used to assist residents, government and the environment.”
You can view the Coyote Policy, watch the videos the City produced and read information on the City’s website at www.wheaton.il.us/coyote.