Mission: ?The return on our investment of time in The Network is enormous. The increased number and quality of volunteer hours is a direct result of our participation in The Network. Ray Fahlsing Stewardship Program Manager Michigan Department of Natural Resources ?Since the mid-1800s, Michigan has lost more than 99% of its prairies, savannas and oak barrens.? - Michigan Natural Features Inventory, 2003Our natural areas are threatened... A land conservancy purchases the development rights on 80 acres along the river. A township parks department buys a new piece of land. The state owns a 1000 acre property. This land is now protected, right? Sadly, the answer is no. We used to think purchasing land and setting it aside was enough to protect it. We now realize that in order to preserve the ecological and cultural value that made these properties valuable in the first place, we have to care for them. This means active land management to preserve the native spring wildflowers; informed stewardship to keep the migrating birds returning; cutting-edge information to inform us of new threats to our natural lands and waters; and knowledgeable volunteer stewards to protect the splendor of our native fall colors. What remains of our prairies, savannas, oak barrens and other important natural areas is owned by dozens of groups, both public and private, and by hundreds of individuals. These natural areas are fragmented in isolated patches, with little or no oversight. That?s where the Stewardship Network plays a role. We help groups and individuals think differently about stewarding natural lands and waters. We train volunteers and professionals in science-based stewardship practices. We link conservation groups to preserve our natural and cultural heritage.The Stewardship Network was established to build the capacity of organizations, individuals, and businesses to preserve, restore, and manage Michigan?s natural lands and waters. Since its inception the Network has collaborated with nonprofits large and small, governmental agencies and units, private business, and dedicated individuals to achieve that goal.The Stewardship Network connects a broad range of groups, rallies volunteers, and fills the gaps in today?s preservation efforts. Every day, we?re out on the land and on the web -- making connections, providing hands-on training, building relationships, sharing tools and passing along new information. Why? So that the many groups and individuals that protect our natural areas can become even stronger and more effective. The Network brings expertise in natural areas management and community building to increase the effectiveness of organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals doing on-the-ground management.The Network connects for more protection The Stewardship Network is an opportunity to connect disparate groups, to rally volunteers and to fill the gaps in today?s preservation efforts. The Stewardship Network:? Trains, develops and supports a vibrant group of volunteer and professional stewardship leaders? Builds the capacity of partner organizations and individuals through the development of model projects? Broadens the influence of all groups by implementing region-wide initiatives? Provides a wealth of knowledge and experience for preserving and protecting our native biodiversity? Uses online technology to link conservation efforts and create a Network that is accessible 24/7? Trains volunteers in scientifically based conservation techniques they can use on partner organizations? properties
Programs: Clusters in 2016, the stewardship network hosted around 50 on-the-ground trainings and workshops for its diverse member base, including autumn olive control restoring wetlands seed sharing the conservation stewards program developing natural areas management plans and more. Over 700 people were able to apply these important lessons in their local areas.
statewide training and events the 2016 stewardship network conference, the science, practice art of restoring native ecosystems, educated, invigorated, and connected over 400 of the finest stewards across the great lakes region and new england. It drew presenters and participants from a wide array of backgrounds, including private land owners, tribal members, government agency representatives, professional land managers, academics and researchers, and more. This unique conference continued its superb track record as one of the premier natural areas restoration conferences in the region while involving an even greater diversity of presenters and participants than in previous years. Continued on schedule o.
online network our free monthly webcasts continued to grow in popularity in 2016, attended by natural areas professionals, researchers, students, volunteers, and landowners from across north america. Topics ranged from white-nosed bat syndrome to pollinators to vernal pools, to controlling phragmites. These free, online interactive sessions are facilitated by the network along with experienced practitioners and researchers who are leaders in their field. In 2016, over 2,000 listeners from across the u. S. And canada benefited from our live, interactive webcasts, and all webcast recordings are available to the public via our webcast archives.