MSU Extension’s Natural Resources Work Group aims for greater stewardship engagement through citizen science programs to advance conservation. In past decades, this work has been done by “traditional” outdoor groups composed of hunters and anglers. Yet, there have emerged new, enthusiastic ecosystem-minded volunteers to contribute toward this necessary and vital aspect of ecological restoration. Volunteers taking part in the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) come to the program with varied backgrounds in outdoor recreation. Many of the adult learners who attend this program want to get more involved in ecosystem restoration, but how do their learning outcomes vary by their previous outdoor background? Pre- and post-program, online surveys of participants provide data regarding stewardship changes as a result of the CSP. This analysis specifically investigates whether water-based outdoor recreation participation prior to the course affects participants’ learning about aquatic ecosystem and stewardship.