Also, registration is now open for the Conservation Stewards Program!
The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) is currently enrolling participants for programs being held this Fall in Oakland County!
CSP is a volunteer leader training program designed for individuals interested in learning about Michigan’s ecological foundations, history of conservation activities, and aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and the threats they currently face. The core curriculum is centered around an ecosystem-based management approach that prepares participants to not only carry out and lead community-based volunteer conservation management activities, but to also share their knowledge with others to help restore and sustain healthy ecosystems throughout Michigan.
The program is delivered via a combination of evening and all-day field sessions held in a variety of ecologically diverse locations across the county in which the program is offered, combined with online coursework. Instruction is provided by Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Michigan State University Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Institute of Water Research.
Becoming a Conservation Steward volunteer involves the completion of the following:
- Classroom and field-based training led by experts in various fields of conservation and natural resources, including lectures, interactive learning and field experiences;
- Self-paced online learning modules provided via Michigan State University’s D2L course management system which participants complete on their own; and
- 40 hours of volunteer service including activities related to the completion of an in-class Capstone project and other conservation service of interest.
Local conservation partners and hosts contributing to the 2018 Oakland program include Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Michigan Nature Association, University of Michigan Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, Oakland County Parks, Huron Clinton Metroparks, Clinton River Watershed Council, Oakland County Economic Development & Community Affairs, North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy, and Addison Township.
The 2018 Oakland program consists of the following:
Six in-person sessions will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6 – 9 p.m.:
- September 19: Michigan’s Glacial and Post-Glacial History– Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills
- September 26: Michigan Ecosystems/Oakland County Priority Natural Areas– Proud Lake Recreation Area, Commerce Township
- October 3: Grassland Ecosystems and Management– Addison Township & Lakeville Swamp
- October 10: Ecosystem Threats: Invasive Species– Highland Recreation Area, Highland
- October 17: Community Conservation Case Study– Turtle Woods Preserve, Troy
- October 24: Capstone Project Presentations & Commencement– Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, Waterford
Three full-day Saturday field sessions:
- Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Program Nuts & Bolts/Capstone Projects– MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center, Novi
- Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Aquatic Field Experience– Independence Oaks County Park, Clarkston
- Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, 9 a.m. – p.m.: Terrestrial Field Experience– Indian Springs Metropark, White Lake
Self-paced online learning modules on the following topics:
Michigan’s Conservation Heritage & Making Choices for Natural Resources Management; Ecology 101; Forest Ecosystems and Management; Lake Ecosystems and Management; Wetland Ecosystems & Management; Ecosystem Threats: Invasive Species & Climate Change
The registration fee for this program is $250. Scholarships are available. The last day to register is September 7, 2018. Register can be completed online: https://events.anr.msu.edu/cspoakland2018/
For more information about CSP, its partners, and the work that stewards do, here are some reports/articles with details:
- 2017 Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) Annual Report: http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/about/MNFI-2017-Annual-Report.pdf
- MSUE News articles: Michigan Conservation Stewards Program helps ready the next squad of Citizen Scientist Superheroes
CSP is also enrolling participants for programs being held in Kalamazoo and St. Clair counties.
Visit the CSP program page for complete details on all three programs: https://www.canr.msu.edu/csp