Stewarding the Land
Stewardship is defined as “the careful responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care”.
At the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, we are dedicated to increasing the awareness of the role healthy ecosystems play in sustaining our communities and to inspiring local citizens to become active participants in land and water conservation in the region.
Healthy, vibrant natural communities not only provide habitat for a diversity of native plants and wildlife here in West Michigan, they also provide unique resources that help support the varied economies of the region and provide opportunities for forging connections with family and community.
Our stewardship efforts are particularly important because many of our properties are habitats for species that are endangered, threatened, or of special concern.
Our stewardship initiatives
- Monitoring and restoration. Our commitment to protecting properties forever means that we undertake the responsibility of ongoing monitoring at our nature preserves and conservation easements (pdf). There are many issues that impact our preserved properties including invasive species, vandalism, poaching, and general maintenance concerns. Through our stewardship program, we provide monitoring, maintenance, and restoration work on these properties in order to ensure the continued high natural value of these lands.
- Community engagement. We work with neighbors, members, students, and local citizens to identify ways to better connect communities with the natural world around them. We enable community members to help us monitor the natural features of our nature preserves and the community at large. Our nature preserves also provide opportunities to engage local communities in current environmental issues and help provide examples of techniques and methods that can be adapted for use in the community.
- Education. We offer training events and workshops to provide practical tools and information to help citizens become better stewards of their own properties and to make wise land use decisions in their communities. We also reach out to schools and community organizations to provide hands-on investigative learning opportunities utilizing our nature preserves.
We are always looking for volunteers who are willing to lend a helping hand to our stewardship efforts. If you are interested in getting involved, visit our volunteer page to learn more about our volunteer opportunities. Complete our volunteer sign-up form if you would like to be contacted when we have volunteer opportunities.
Stewardship volunteer brochure