The Stewardship Team works on promoting, increasing, and documenting volunteer participation and volunteer opportunities related to restoration and management of sites in the Calumet region. Through communication with each other and cross-promotion, CSI member organizations recruit, train, and share volunteers to accomplish our work. We hope to enrich the existing volunteer program by building leadership skills among experienced people to recruit, train, and lead new volunteers to help steward the Calumet region.
In 2012, we collaborated to provide a Volunteer Leader Training Course that gave participants deeper knowledge about local ecology and restoration methods as well as the opportunity to gain some experience leading other volunteers. Stewardship Team members led a series of five classes at various locations, sharing their expertise in topics such as local history, ecology, plant identification, volunteer workday coordination, and invasive plant control methods. The CSI partnership was crucial to the success of this course, because no one partner had all the resources required to do it alone. By working together, we were able to attract a wide audience from across the Calumet region, introduce volunteers to CSI member organizations, and strengthen our common network of supporters.
The Stewardship Team is also working on tracking and documenting the amount of effort put forth each year to restore and manage sites across the region. We work with land managers to compile estimates of the total hours of volunteer and staff labor devoted to site stewardship. This effort is then mapped to show trends in volunteer stewardship hours and to identify areas (sites) within the region that may need more attention.
Calumet Volunteer Training Workshop. Photo Credit: Laura Milkert, ©The Field Museum. April 21, 2012.
Restoration leaders at Beaubien Woods Forest Preserve. Photo Credit: Laura Milkert, ©The Field Museum. April 21, 2012.
Hand Lens are used for plant Identification and study. Photo Credit: Laura Milkert, ©The Field Museum. June 8, 2011.
Group Plant Identification session at Greiner Prairie. Photo Credit: Laura Milkert, ©The Field Museum. June 16, 2012.