The Stewardship Network connects, equips and mobilizes people and organizations to care for land and water in their communities.
Our vision is a diverse world of empowered, connected communities caring for land and water, now and forever.
- 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.
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.
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.