Creating a culture of stewardship in New England through the power of volunteers.
What Does the Network Do?
In response to a growing need in New Hampshire for increased stewardship capacity and help working with volunteers, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension launched the Stewardship Network: New England initiative in 2013. Since then, the Network has accomplished several priority goals that conservation partners identified at the initiative’s launch, including:
- Built an online hub (see Events Calendar) for stewardship and citizen science volunteer opportunities and trainings. To date, 165 organizations have used the hub to promote over 550 events. The events calendar is open to all organizations in New England, but used primarily by NH based organizations and volunteers.
- Established a weekly bulletin to share stewardship stories and volunteer opportunities. The e-bulletin has 2,000+ subscribers, with a quarterly growth rate of approximately 5%, primarily in NH, but open to any online subscriber.
- Created five Stewardship Training Guides, available for free download online: Workday 101, Trail Maintenance for Volunteers, How to Monitor Conservation Easements, How to Lead a Nature Walk, Outdoor Skills for Conservation Volunteers.
- Expanded digital outreach related to stewardship and citizen science, establishing Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds that promote NH calendar listings and link to individual organization’s feeds.
- Provided technical assistance for working with volunteers for dozens of organizations annually.
- Raised over $576,000 in grant support from University of New Hampshire, the US Forest Service, the National Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Science Foundation, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Northeast Utilities Service Company, National Park Service NE Region Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.
- Conducted focus groups and partner survey in 2016 to understand how partner organizations value the Network and to determine future partner needs. Read about what we learned in What Our Partners Say.
- Re-focused mission from “mobilizing volunteers” towards “fostering a culture of stewardship” to better reflect perceived impact of the Network by partners in 2016 survey.