About Us

Our Mission

The Stewardship Network connects, equips and mobilizes people and organizations to care for land and water in their communities.

Our Vision

Our vision is a diverse world of empowered, connected communities caring for land and water, now and forever.

Our Values

  • Collaboration can't be forced. We can talk about, nudge, inspire, and demonstrate how to collaborate, but you just can't force it. Working collaboratively requires patience, understanding, persistence, and the ability to listen. When this approach is taken, the outcome is far greater when it is realized.
  • Many of the best ideas come from the field. Nothing beats walking the land and talking with its steward about how to care for it. There are many potential right solutions - broadening our view of what is possible is essential to innovation and sustainable growth.
  • Everyone has a voice in the conversation. Whether individual or organization, public or private, not-for-profit or corporate, every voice is important to inform our work and how it is implemented. By encouraging a diversity of background and opinion, we create more balanced, more effective solutions and programs.
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As ideas and resources are often complicated and time-consuming to spread, by providing ample and simple opportunities to connect, we dramatically reduce both the time spent and complexity, thereby allowing more time and resources to go toward on-the-ground restoration work.
  • Know when to shift conversation to action. The dialogue around conservation in the Great Lakes, New England and beyond will continue on for generations. It is our experience that knowing when to shift from conversation to action, to move from strategies to tasks, is essential to reaching our goals and the goals of our partner organizations and members.

About The Stewardship Network

The Stewardship Network (TSN) champions community based collaborative conservation and represents one of the few models, and perhaps the only nationally scalable model, for bringing this capacity to communities and ecosystems across North America. TSN has been leading the call for collaborative conservation for over 10 years. We are a national award-winning conservation leadership group connecting, equipping and mobilizing people and organizations to care for land and water in their communities. We have been called "THE up-and-coming conservation organization with the right trajectory" by national foundation officials. TSN designs, facilitates, and provides the "backbone" for collaborative conservation that brings diverse stakeholders together to build trust, develop a shared understanding of the whole ecosystem, and collaborate generously to tackle shared goals and the wicked problems we face in caring for our land and water.

Learn more about the amazing team keeping TSN at the forefront of collaborative conservation

For nearly two decades TSN has been operating on-the-ground while defining, refining and developing the foundation upon which successful community-based collaborative conservation can be built. Starting first in Michigan and expanding regionally throughout the Great Lakes and into New England, TSN is now poised for even larger impact - ready to scale nationally, region by region, community by community. We have real opportunities with strong interest from Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Oregon and the Cascade Mountain region of California. TSN is seeking a strategic funding partner to build on this foundation to allow community based collaborative conservation to have the scalable national support model that is being demanded.

The Stewardship Network's mission is to connect, equip, and mobilize people and organizations to care for lands and waters in their communities. As a 501c(3) nonprofit with a strong record of apolitical, transformational change leadership, the network provides a unique function in the conservation community: facilitating the work of many by connecting conservation minded volunteers and practitioners to experts, to government agencies, to local organizers, to tribes and researchers and to each other; to craft and implement solutions to a multitude of the most pressing and challenging community conservation problems (water quality, invasive species control, biological diversity, habitat improvement, local food systems, civic engagement, etc.), which results in real on-the-ground conservation based eco-system vitality. This model is effective because individuals and organizations that care about their community, yet are unsure of what to do, address conservation problems one property at a time at a scale that is personal to those involved and now executable with their resources complemented by those brought to the table by the network. Our community-based, collaborative model is unique among the conservation world, as we ask the critical question "What do you need to increase capacity to care for land and water?" We are not driven by a single species or issue and instead focus on revitalizing the system as a whole.

TSN actively facilitates the de-centralization of the conservation movement and the empowerment of individuals to improve their own environment and community - it is a networked approach. No longer is conservation and environmentalism limited to parks and preserves - TSN empowers people to bring the park and preserve to their own backyard and community. TSN centralizes a collective idea - together, our human communities, from the angler to the zoologist, can better care for and connect to the land and water on which we rely - through a distributed, resilient network. TSN accelerates collaborative conservation through a facilitated community-based conservation model that is equally open to all.

TSN has developed a broad range of tools and techniques as well as systems and support services that support emerging collaborative conservation leadership at the community level, linking at that local level to regional landscape scale initiatives and tapping into national resources. This is what we do and are the transformational tools needed across North America.

What Does the Network Do?

The Stewardship Network trains, develops, and supports a vibrant group of conservation leaders who serve as the foundation for collaborative conservation across North America.

Having had thousands of conversations about conservation across the country, The Stewardship Network knows what it takes to care for our land and water. We recognize that what is left of our native ecosystems is fragmented, and we need to bring people together to care for those areas. We also recognize that people are an often overlooked natural resource. It is only through mobilizing professionals, volunteers, and landowners in working towards collaboratively set goals that we will move the needle on conservation. As a collective impact organization, we:

  • Develop, support, and accelerate local collaborative conservation communities, which we call "Clusters."
  • Build the capacity of partner organizations through the development of model conservation projects and implementation of landscape-scale, region-wide initiatives.
  • empower individuals to learn more, and put their new knowledge to work on their own land or on public lands by volunteering with our partner organizations.
  • Plan and run 100's of educational, hands-on training on a variety of topics for thousands of volunteers, private landowners, and professional land managers.
  • Provide online resources such as free, monthly webcasts and a calendar of workdays and trainings reaching tens of thousands of people across North America each year.
  • Train, develop, and support a vibrant group of conservation leaders - both volunteer and professional.
  • Secure tools & resources; to be shared (workday equipment, trails crews, interns, etc.)
  • Develop conservation projects and implement landscape-scale region-wide initiatives that result in positive collective impact to communities and the environment.
  • connect stewards with all levels of experience to scientifically based, field-proven conservation techniques that have been developed, tested, and honed by our host of supporters.
  • apply technology-based platforms to link these efforts across time and distance.
The Stewardship Network is an approachable, inclusive organization that welcomes participation from anyone who wants to get involved. We create spaces and opportunities to combine new ideas with practices that have stood the test of time. We are not driven by saving a single species, nor do we view nature as a special place to visit on the weekends or vacations. Rather, we uniquely tailor our support to each community's needs, and help them protect the lands and waters they interact with every day.

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a strong record of transformational change leadership, TSN is dedicated to facilitating on-the-ground conservation, stewardship, and education.

Who does the Network work with?

1854 Treaty Authority
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

ACRES Land Trust
Lakes Country Cluster

Allegan Conservation District

Antrim Conservation District
C.A.K.E. CISMA

Aquinas College-Biology Department

Audubon Society of Kalamazoo
Central Southwest Cluster

Berrien Conservation District
SW x SW CISMA

Black River Habitats

Blandford Nature Center

Blue Heron Ministries
Lakes Country Cluster

Buy Landscaping Plants Nursery

Calhoun County Wild Ones
Central Southwest Cluster

Calvin College Ecosystem Preserve

Calvin College Plaster Creek Stewards

Cardno
Oakland County CISMA

Cascade Township

Charlevoix Conservation District
C.A.K.E. CISMA

City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation
Huron Arbor Cluster

City of Duluth, MN
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

City of Ferrysburg

City of Monroe
Western Lake Erie Cluster

City of Monroe: Commission on the Environment and Water Quality
Western Lake Erie Cluster

City of Southfield Parks & Recreation
Headwaters Cluster

Clinton River Watershed Council
Headwaters Cluster

Conservation Corps MN & IA
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Creating Sustainable Landscapes
Huron Arbor Cluster

Dahlem Environmental Education Center
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Detroit Garden Center

Detroit International Wildlife Refuge
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Detroit Recreation Department

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve
Headwaters Cluster

DTE Energy
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Ducks Unlimited
Western Lake Erie Cluster

E. L. Johnson Nature Center
Headwaters Cluster

East Lansing Parks, Recreation & Arts
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Edward Lowe Foundation
Central Southwest Cluster

Ely Field Naturalists
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Enchanted Gardener

Fen View Design, LLC

Fort Custer Training Center
Central Southwest Cluster

Friends of Bald Mountain
Headwaters Cluster

Friends of Belle Isle

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Friends of the Detroit River

Friends of the Rouge

Friends of the Southern Michigan Railroad
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Frog Holler Farm
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Garden Delights Nursery

GEI Consultants of Michigan, PC

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
C.A.K.E. CISMA

Grand Valley State University

Great Lakes School of Log Building
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Green Ribbon Initiative
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy

Gun Lake Tribe

Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane

Hidden Lake Gardens
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Highland Conservancy
Headwaters Cluster

Highland Township
Headwaters Cluster

Howard Christensen Nature Center

Hubachek Wilderness Research Center, University of Minnesota
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Huron Clinton Metropark Authority
Headwaters Cluster, Huron Arbor Cluster

Huron River Watershed Council
Huron Arbor Cluster

Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Fish and Wildlife
Lakes Country Cluster

Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Nature Preserves
Lakes Country Cluster

Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Parks and Reservoirs
Lakes Country Cluster

Ingham Conservation District
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Ingham County Parks Department
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Ingham County Road Commission
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

International Wildlife Refuge Alliance

Izaak Walton League - Dwight Lydell Chapter

Jackson County Conservation District
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones
Central Southwest Cluster

Kalamazoo County Master Gardeners
Central Southwest Cluster

Kalamazoo Nature Center
Central Southwest Cluster

Kent Conservation District

Kent County Parks

Kitchel-Lindquist-Hartger Dune Preserve

LaGrange County Parks and Recreation
Lakes Country Cluster

LaGrange County Soil and Water Conservation District
Lakes Country Cluster

LaGrange County Surveyors Office
Lakes Country Cluster

Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Lake Lansing Watershed Advisory Committee
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Land Conservancy of West Michigan

Legacy Land Conservancy
Huron Arbor Cluster, Grand-Raisin Cluster

Lenawee County Conservation District
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
C.A.K.E. CISMA

Little Traverse Conservancy
C.A.K.E. CISMA

Mecosta Conservation District

Meridian Township Parks Commission and Land Preservation Advisory Board
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Michigan Audobon Society
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative, Headwaters Cluster, Huron Arbor Cluster, Central Southwest Cluster, Grand-Raisin Cluster

Michigan Department of Natural Resources (Sterling State Park)
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Michigan Department of Transportation
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Michigan DNR - State Parks

Michigan Garden Clubs

Michigan Karst Conservancy
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Michigan Natural Features Inventory
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Michigan Nature Assocation
Headwaters Cluster, Central Southwest Cluster, Grand-Raisin Cluster, Lake St. Clair CISMA, Oakland County CISMA

Michigan Sea Grant Extension

Michigan State University
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Michigan State University Vets to Ag Program
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Mid-Michigan CISMA
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Trails Division
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Monroe Boat Club
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Monroe Conservation District
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Monroe County, MI
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Muskegon Conservation District

Muskegon Watershed Assembly

NIPP-Newaygo Invasive Plant project

North Country Trail Association

North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy
Headwaters Cluster

Oakland County Parks & Recreation
Headwaters Cluster

Oakland County Planning & Economic Development Services Environmental Stewardship Division
Headwaters Cluster

Oakland Phragmites & Invasive Species Task Force
Headwaters Cluster

Oakland Township Parks & Recreation Commission
Headwaters Cluster

Oceana Conservation District

Oh These Irish Hills!
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Ottawa Conservation District

Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Central Southwest Cluster

Plant America Nursery

Raisin Valley Land Trust
Grand-Raisin Cluster

River Raisin Battlefield National Park
Western Lake Erie Cluster

River Raisin Institute
Western Lake Erie Cluster

River Raisin Partnership
Grand-Raisin Cluster

River Raisin Watershed Council
Grand-Raisin Cluster

River Raisin Watershed Council
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Rogue River Watershed Partners

Rose Township
Headwaters Cluster

Royal Oak Nature Society

Sarett Nature Center
Central Southwest Cluster

Shiawassee County Road Commission
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Six Rivers Land Conservancy
Headwaters Cluster

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Lake St. Clair CISMA, Western Lake Erie Cluster

Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
Huron Arbor Cluster

Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition
Huron Arbor Cluster

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
Central Southwest Cluster

Springfield Township Parks and Recreation
Headwaters Cluster

St. Louis County Land and Minerals Department
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

St. Louis County Public Works Department
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Steuben County Lakes Council
Lakes Country Cluster

Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District
Lakes Country Cluster

Steuben County Surveyor
Lakes Country Cluster

Stewards of Kleinstuck
Central Southwest Cluster

Stewart Farm Ecology Center

Student Environmental Association - UM Dearborn

The Nature Conservancy in Indiana
Lakes Country Cluster

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan
Central Southwest Cluster, Western Lake Erie Cluster, Grand-Raisin Cluster

The Nature Conservancy in Ohio
Western Lake Erie Cluster

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
C.A.K.E. CISMA

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Lakes Country Cluster

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Western Lake Erie Cluster

U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

University of Michigan Dearborn Environmental Interpretive Center

University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
Huron Arbor Cluster

US Forest Service - Baldwin Ranger Station

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Grand-Raisin Cluster

Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy
C.A.K.E. CISMA

Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission
Huron Arbor Cluster, Grand-Raisin Cluster

Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner
Huron Arbor Cluster

West MI Conservation Network

Email them at: wmconservationnetwork@gmail.com
West Michigan Regional Shoreline Development Commission

Western Michigan University
Central Southwest Cluster

White Iron Chain of Lakes Association
Southern St. Louis County CISMA

Wild Ones - Ann Arbor Chapter
Huron Arbor Cluster

Wild Ones - North Oakland Chapter
Headwaters Cluster

Wild Ones - River City Grand Rapids Chapter

Wild Ones Red Cedar Chapter
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Wild Ones Red Cedar Chapter
Mid-Michigan Stewardship Initiative

Wild Ones Southeast Michigan Chapter

Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience & Environmental Education Center

YMCA Storer Camps
Grand-Raisin Cluster